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Leak Detection: The Hidden Costs of Undetected Leaks

Leak Detection

Leaks come in many forms. They can be large or small. They can be visible eyesores or hidden disruptions that go undetected for months. No matter their size, one thing is certain:  leaks can have a devastating impact on your budget, your building, and your landscape.

It’s time to get smarter about water. If you don’t have a plan in place for leak detection and mitigation, now is the time to change that. Whether you’re operating municipal buildings or a corporate campus, here are 7 budget killers you need to watch out for.

  1. A running toilet can waste a whole gallon of water in less than 30 seconds. If left undetected, a running toilet can waste thousands of gallons of water each month. Wasted gallons means wasted money; in this case, hundreds of dollars monthly. What’s more, a leak in a toilet can be difficult to detect, as it’s often invisible. Building managers and property owners might go months before discovering a leak caused by faulty toilet tank hardware.
  2. Mainline breaks are often silent. If your water main breaks, it’s a serious issue. However, don’t expect to notice a geyser of water gushing from the ground, or experience a noticeable drop in pressure. Signs of a mainline break more often come from a rumbling sound inside the pipes. You might miss it altogether.
  3. A tree root could be the cause of your pipe leak. It’s not every day that you decide to replace a water main. The process is time-consuming. It requires digging and specialty crews. But leaks from a mainline break are often the most problematic type. These leaks come from tree roots getting wrapped around a pipe over time, or obstructions coming from inside the sewer, or simply old age.
  4. A broken pipe can cost your company well over $1,000 a day. A commercial building used WaterCompass technology from HydroPoint to monitor the main domestic water meter. Due to high alert levels, a team of engineers was sent out to find a leak. The leak was eventually discovered from a broken pipeline. For each day the leak went undetected, it would have cost the company around $1,400.
  5. Leak detection solutions can double the life of sidewalk and parking lot pavement. Asphalt will experience some daily wear-and-tear due to weather and other natural erosion. However, nothing ruins pavement faster than a consistent barrage of leaking water. With leak monitoring, you can mitigate this damage by receiving alerts at the first sign of trouble. These measures can extend the life of your sidewalk and parking lot pavement by two-fold. At an average of $1.50 per square-foot to repave, you’re saving yourself a $75,000 job for an average-sized parking lot.
  6. Leaks can lead to an expensive mold issue. When you notice a leak, you’re probably most concerned about the leak itself. But the aftermath can be just as problematic. If a leak occurs in a cool, damp area in your building, you’re sure to develop mold. Mold is dangerous, and federal building laws prohibit the presence of mold beyond a minimal amount. If you notice mold in your building, you’ll have to conduct tests to find out where the spores are coming from and attack them immediately. One study noted that mold treatment of just 27 square feet inside an HVAC system cost $9,500.
  7. Mold mitigation involves several complex steps. Commercial and municipal buildings and educational and corporate campuses are more susceptible to mold caused by unseen leaks. A residential home might mitigate mold quickly, but for a larger building it takes several steps. There is leak detection, then testing and analysis. Specialized testing could require a team of consultants and environmental experts. Treatment may lead to contractor and insurance battles. Each step of the process can quickly add thousands of dollars to your bill.

Alternatively, use WaterCompass leak detection and monitoring. WaterCompass delivers early warnings of leakage. The systems draws on data and benchmarks to calculate what your water expenses should look like. You’ll never get to the stage where you’re fighting mold and the problems that come with it.

To recap, here is the breakdown of the hidden cost of leaks:

Type of LeakCost
One running toiletBetween $70 and $200 per month
One underground broken pipeline$1,400 per day
Repaving parking lot due to water damage$75,000 per 50,000 sq ft.
One steady-dripping faucet$2.31 per day
Mold remediation by removal and disposal, replacement of ceilings and walls$18 per sq ft.
Testing, processing and eradicating mold inside an HVAC system$9,500 per 27 sq ft.

The Solution for Leak Detection and Monitoring

To create a comprehensive water management solution, you need a thorough understanding of all water consumption and a way to rapidly stop unexpected waste and damage. HydroPoint WaterCompass is one solution that can help.

WaterCompass is a non-invasive, clamp-on leak and flow monitoring solution that provides detailed data, analysis and alerts. You can monitor the water use of one site or across an entire portfolio from a single dashboard, including domestic water (bathrooms, kitchen, drinking fountains, etc.), cooling towers, irrigation systems and water-based fire suppression systems.