SINGAPORE: More than 320 sensors have already been installed in Singapore's potable water supply pipelines to detect water leaking from them, national water agency PUB said.
To further reduce the amount of water lost through leakage, the installation of sensors will be extended to include the NEWater pipeline network over the next three years, the agency added.
The sensors are able to measure the flow rate and the pressure of the water, as well as detect the noise made when water escapes through cracks in the pipes.
Data collected from the wireless sensors are sent to the PUB's command centre, which monitors the condition of the pipes.
Currently, Singapore's unaccounted water rate is at 5 per cent. This refers to water that has been produced but is “lost” before it reaches users. In comparison, London has an unaccounted water rate of 20 per cent.
However, Singapore is aiming to cut its losses to that of cities like Tokyo, which has a rate of 3.2 per cent.
PUB’s Director of Water Supply (Network) Michael Toh said: "We think that we can perhaps lower it to levels that the Japanese have, because I think that's something for us to emulate. We are very water-stressed; we need to make sure that we conserve every drop, so we need to do more."
The sensors also complement the water agency's pipeline renewal project. Since 2016, 20km of old pipelines have been replaced with more robust iron and steel pipes.
Over the next two years, an additional 75km of pipes will be replaced in areas that have been prioritised, such as Hougang, Clementi and Serangoon Gardens.
By 2019, PUB aims to more than double the rate of renewal to 50km of pipelines per year.