Globally, as much as 35% of all treated water is lost to leaking piping systems with South African levels reaching as high as 60%. This has prompted a stainless steel test project to get underway in Paarl between sassda, local municipal authorities and South African manufacturers in search of the most environmental and economic solution for the country’s water-wise future.
Case studies show that 95% of treated water leaks occur in the small diameter service pipes connecting the distribution pipes to the users’ water meters. Currently, approximately 40% of Johannesburg’s treated water supply is nonrevenue water (NRW), equating to a loss of R1.1 billion per year, of this 73.3% is lost due to pipe leakage.
Sassda Western Cape Manager Michel Basson says this is because water pipes are currently made from, or replaced with, High Density Polyethylene (HDPE), with a lifespan of 20 years, as opposed to stainless steel applications of at least 60 years. “In light of this, we currently have a test installation underway in a residential unit in Paarl where we are evaluating the installation of corrugated stainless steel tubes connected to the bulk supply line, which have been installed and covered in such a way that they can be easily removed for inspection.”