Delivering clean water at a reasonable cost is an important responsibility for any municipality. But many municipal water systems were installed decades ago. As infrastructure deteriorates with age and use, undetected underground leaks are taking a hidden toll: wasted water, wasted energy and reduced capacity to serve customers.
Pumping water is energy intensive because municipal water systems must maintain operations constantly, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. That means even small leaks can drive up energy bills as electric pumps have to work harder to maintain pressure and reliably deliver water. As water pressure declines, so does customer satisfaction. Left untreated, leaks can increase the need for infrastructure investments to support additional pumping capacity to meet customer needs. Leaks can also trigger sudden line ruptures that lead to costly emergency repairs and potential damages such as sinkholes, erosion and flooding.
Municipalities can avoid these problems by proactively locating and repairing leaks ? saving water and reducing water treatment and energy-related operating costs while also improving system operations. We did the math to show you how much you could be saving. Check out these project examples to see potential costs and savings for a municipality that completes leak repairs.
|3 leak repairs completed||26 leak repairs completed|
|$3,700 project costs||$32,000 project costs|
|4.7 million gallons of water savings||272.6 million gallons of water savings|
|27,300 kWh savings||198,100 kWh savings|
|$2,000 energy cost savings||$13,900 energy cost savings|
|$2,600 Energy Trust cash incentives||$22,400 Energy Trust cash incentives|
|6-month simple payback||7-month simple payback|
Tap into savings
Energy Trust of Oregon offers cash incentives for both leak detection and repairs to help make this work pencil out for municipalities. Customers can apply once a year for a rebate up to $1,000 toward the cost of an assessment to locate underground leaks. To help lower the cost of qualifying leak repairs and increase system efficiency, Energy Trust offers cash incentives based on the projected energy savings from the leak repairs—$0.32 per annual kilowatt-hour saved, up to 70% of project costs.