Maynilad, the Philippines’ water service company for western Manila, needed to improve service levels in a district metered area of Tinajeros in Malabon City. This area, which had long been tagged as a problem area, serves 2,183 water service connections to primarily residential customers. Despite two inflows with high pressure, network piping couldn’t deliver enough water or pressure to meet customer demands. Maynilad needed to identify leaks and head losses throughout the piping network. Various approaches to identify them had failed, so they needed to take a fresh approach.
Maynilad deployed WaterGEMS software to build a hydraulic model of the area and calibrate it according to the existing condition of the network. The model showed management where leaks would most likely be located throughout the piping network, saving the maintenance and repair team a great deal of time and effort – and enabling them to focus on repairs that will significantly improve customer service levels.
Using WaterGEMS, the calibration and simulation of the water model to identify hotspots, or probable leak locations, took just three days – and when staff investigated, they found that the entire 6 linear meter area of the 200-millimeter pipe was busted longitudinally, causing the huge pressure drop. Once repaired, pressures significantly improved, eliminating need for an immediate, costly and time-consuming total pipe replacement. The leak repair cost just USD 1,160, mitigated the costly alternatives. This success resulted in new best practice: using a calibrated hydraulic model to find hard-to-detect leaks in areas with very deep pipelines.
The Darwin Calibrator feature of WaterGEMS played a key role in identifying potential locations of leakages in the water model. This made leak detection easier and enabled staff to prioritize locations for further, on-site investigation.