Thursday, December 10, 2009

88 Billion Liters Of Water A Day

Pinhole leakEighty eight billion liters of water a day, day after day… This is how much water is lost to pinhole leaks in pipes all over the world, in rich courtiers and poor ones. And then there is oil and gas… Of course, when those leak, it’s not just about the money – environment is poisoned and wildlife is harmed.

Israeli company Curapipe, on Israel's southern coast in Ashkelon, has a new solution that can detect and repair a problem that hides below the radar of the water, oil and gas industries.

There is a known method of cleaning water mains: water maintenance teams suspend the water supply for a couple of hours while a small spongy object referred to as a 'pig' is pushed through the system using water pressure. As the pigs are propelled through the pipes they remove scale and other types of unwanted buildup. The pigs can do their work in pipes made of lead, cast iron and even concrete. Curapipe has found a way to "piggyback" on this system. It has developed a device that employs two pigs with a sealant material held between them. Pushed through the water pipes in the normal way, when the pigs encounter a crack or a leak, a composite material is squirted out to fill it in. The material then hardens in place. Once the pipe has been flushed with water to clean it, it returns to normal usage.

The company is waiting for the seal of approval from regulatory bodies and health officials attesting that the Curapipe sealant does not affect the quality of drinking water. Rough estimates are that 20 to 30 % of the water lost to leaks can be saved via the new technology.

Curapipe is now working with the Eilat Ashkelon Pipeline Company, Israel's major oil pipeline company, to test the pigs in both water pipes and oil pipes. And after dealing with the water crisis the company hopes to be able to solve another disturbing problem, this time in natural gas mains transporting primarily methane that is about 20 times more damaging to the environment than carbon dioxide spewed from vehicles.

Source: Israel21c

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