News Feature | April 17, 2014

Government Agency Takes On Non-Revenue Water

Sara Jerome

By Sara Jerome


Trenton Water Works is struggling with the problem of non-revenue water. 

A new report "tracks the amount of water lost before it gets to the tap in Mercer County — and leading the pack with the most spillage is the Trenton Water Works," the Times of Trenton reported

The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC), a government agency, compiled the report. Basin states include New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. 

Trenton Water Works is losing 7 million gallons per day, according to the Times. That's 28 percent of the amount that it pumps.  

Trenton is not the only city bleeding water. The DRBC said in a summary of data released in March that "an estimated 119 MGD was physically lost from distribution systems in the DRB along with an estimated 32 MGD of apparent losses."

That adds up to a substantial economic loss. "This non‐revenue water has an estimated value of $105 million to water utilities in the DRB, representing a significant opportunity to improve the efficiency of public water supply in the basin," the summary said.  

Joe McIntyre, superintendent of the Trenton Water Works, spoke to the Times about these challenges. 

“Most of it is leakage,” he said in the report. “When you look at the multitude of issues, most of it is leakage. But there are a number of ways you can lose water.”

The DRBC maintains a water loss reporting program to help public water suppliers reduce non-revenue water. The program was made possible by a regulation the agency approved 5 years ago. 

The regulation required public water suppliers "to implement a new water audit approach established by the International Water Association and the American Water Works Association (AWWA) beginning with calendar year 2012," the agency explained. 

DRBC Deputy Executive Director Robert Tudor focused on the newness of the program in a recent release

“At this stage in the implementation of the DRBC’s water audit program, the emphasis is on ensuring that water utilities build confidence in the reported data,” Tudor said.  

Find more news at Water Online's Utility Management Solution Center

Image credit: "Burst water pipe," Magnus D © 2011, used under an Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic license:

Want to publish your opinion?

Contact us to become part of our Editorial Community.