Water leak detection works underway

Evire Banririe, PUB Water Reticulation Secnior Technician, checks the Water Air Release Valve

Evire Banririe, PUB Water Reticulation Secnior Technician, checks the Water Air Release Valve

Leak detection works is being carried out on South Tarawa’s main water reticulation system using a sound detection device. The work is being carried out by the Public Utilities Board (PUB) and Posch and Partners Consulting Engineers (P&P) through the Kiribati Adaptation Program – Phase III (KAPIII) The leak detection works is being carried out by Mr Robert Skerjanz from P&P who is a leak detection expert with 28 years’ experience and PUB staff.

Posch & Partners Consulting Engineers (P&P) are based in Austria, Europe. The company is specialized on water, energy and environmental projects and provides consulting services, designs and construction supervision. The main focus is on water supply, wastewater and hydropower projects.

P&P will lead the implementation of leak detection and pipe network repair/minor upgrade activities on the PUB water supply network in Betio and South Tarawa; implement improved public water distribution systems in selected pilot South Tarawa communities and to build the PUB’s capacity in leak detection, repair, and planning/managing programs of leak investigation and leak reduction.

Mr Robert Skerjanz, the Leak Detection Expert with 28 years experience said, “Performing active leak detection on the transmission main, from the water treatment plant to the reservoir in Betio is essential in order to repair leaks before the road is newly surfaced by the KRRP.”

Although it is still premature to provide results, Mr Skerjanz said that after completing the works on the transmission main, activities will be extended to the reticulation system where he expects a lot more leakages.

Mr Skerjanz said that three water meters will be installed in chambers along the 30km transmission line, which will allow PUB in the future to monitor the water consumption section by section. An abnormal consumption with one section will indicate to PUB a leak in the section.

Mr Kautuna Kaitara, Program Manager for KAPIII said that reducing leakage is a key priority for the Government of Kiribati which will address the supply/needs of approximately 50% of national population residing in South Tarawa.

In 2000 a World Bank-funded study estimated that in the absence of adaptation the combined effect of sea level rise, changes in rainfall and higher temperatures could result in a decline of 19-38% in the thickness of the main groundwater lens in Tarawa and inundation of up to 54% of land in some villages in South Tarawa and up to 80% in some villages in North Tarawa by 2050.

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