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Driving down leakage with manpower

As regulator Ofwat sets a minimum leakage reduction target of 15 per cent during AMP7, Watertrain shares why increased manpower is at the core of an effective leak detection & reduction strategy.

With tough regulator targets and many water companies setting even tougher targets themselves, the race is on in the UK water utility sector to tackle leakage.

The long-term strategy is complex and new detection technologies have a key role to play, but for Watertrain, a specialist training provider to the UK water utility sector, one thing is clear – increased manpower is at its core.

There are a range of new innovative technologies being utilised by water companies, such as acoustic loggers that pinpoint leaks by measuring noise and drones which locate vegetation above where leaks occur, however, while these new technologies are both reliable and effective, there is still a fundamental need for human knowledge and competence.

From leakage targeting to pressure management, optimising the skills of water leakage staff is essential to ensure that leaks are effectively managed and – in the scenario that technologies fail – detected.

An understanding of basic hydraulic principles also plays a vital role in leakage reduction. Excess pressure, pressure transients, poor valve management and pump surge, these are all things that weaken assets over time and increase the likelihood of catastrophic failures and leakage.

One durable learning route that Watertrain suggests are new combined knowledge/competency Level 3 qualifications. These programmes were developed with expert input from the water industry and focus on the correct application of knowledge in a variety of routine and non-routine situations.

These programmes are also available through funded apprenticeships for new starts and the upskilling of existing staff.

Watertrain further adds that specialist programmes such as their new hydraulics courses provide a time-efficient training solution and help to build confidence in technical operational areas.

You can find more information on Watertrain’s technical training and qualification programmes at www.watertrain.co.uk.