Water Loss Control

PSC's Water Loss Control Initiative

In order to protect natural and financial resources and encourage system efficiency, Wis. Admin. PSC 185 requires that every Wisconsin utility  implement a water loss control program that includes the following components:

• Meter all water sales, where practicable

• Maintain and verify the accuracy of customer and production meters

• Identify and repair leaks in the distribution system to the extent that it is reasonable

• Control water usage from hydrants

• Maintain records of system pumpage and consumption

• Conduct an annual water audit

A utility must report results of its annual water audit to the Commission no later than April 1 on Page W15 of the utility's annual financial report. The water audit  follows the procedures identified by the American Water Works Association's Manual of Practices for Water Audits and Loss Control Programs (M36).  Best practices for water loss control are focused around a water balance that breaks down water entering and leaving the distribution system as follows:

Source: American Water Works Association, "M36 Water Audits and Loss Control Programs, Fourth Edition"

To help utilities maximize the benefits of conducting an annual water audit, Commission staff recommends utilities use AWWA's free Water Audit Software.  This tool helps quantify and track losses, as well as identify areas to improve efficiency and cost recovery.  The PSC, along with six water utilities, Wisconsin DNR, and several industry association partners, recently participated in a pilot training program designed to guide and advance adoption of water loss control best-practices, including use of the free spreadsheet tool. The pilot program's primary objectives were to train utilities on how to best utilize the M36 methodology and associated tools in reducing water loss, evaluate the PSC's current water loss data collection practices, evaluate the potential for driving utilities' water loss programs from audit to action, and identify potential needs for statewide training and techical assistance.  

Resources

Wisconsin Municipal Utility Water Audit Data (Run query of Water Operating Section)

Wisconsin Investor Owned Utility Water Audit Data (Run query of Water Operating Section)

AWWA Free Water Audit Software

Free Leakage Component Analysis Model

Water Utility Training: Water Loss

M36 Pilot Training Project