October 27, 2011 8:48 pm

PUNE: Loss of water due to leakage during distribution would soon reduce in Pimpri-Chinchwad as the administration is all set to introduce the helium leak detection technology.

The Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation and French multinational company Suez Environment will implement the technology. With this, Pimpri-Chinchwad may become the first city in the country and the third in Asia to use this technology.

Jacques Manen, CEO of Suez Environment, India, said, “We are using this technology in two cities in Asia – Jeddah ( Saudi Arabia) andJakarta ( Indonesia). Pimpri Chinchwad will be the third city in Asia and first in India where it will be used.”

Two kinds of technologies are used to detect water leakages in distribution network – acoustic-based and helium-based. Acoustic method is used in high pressure water supply. This method also requires more manpower to detect leakages, he added.

Helium-based technology was developed in Jakarta and is useful where the water pressure is between medium and low in the supply network.

Charles Chaumin, president and CEO of Suez Environnement, Asia, said, “Wastage of drinking water should be avoided as treatment of raw water is expensive. In Paris, there is a special network that supplies non-potable water to residents for gardening purposes and for cleaning streets. In Hong Kong, there is a separate network that supplies sea water for toilets.”

However, it is very expensive to have two different water supply networks for potable and non-potable water supply. Maintenance of two networks is also expensive. So, a majority of cities, do not have such networks, he added.

Municipal commissioner Ashish Sharma said the PCMC has old technology for detecting leakages. Modern technology will help effectively reduce the leakages in the water distribution network.

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