Water leaks on farm

Water leaks on farm

22 October 2019

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It is estimated that 26% of stock drinking water is lost as leakage. This wastes valuable water, causes areas of mud and flooding and incurs extra pumping costs. Having leak detection systems in place and a process to deal with leaks helps to manage them and reduce these effects.

Leaks can vary in the rate of water loss. Fast leaks are often noticed immediately and fixed quickly while small leaks can often go undetected for a long time.

Using a water meter to detect leaks

With a water meter, water use can be monitored when water should not be flowing e.g. at night when cows are not drinking.

If water is flowing, then the dials should be turning slowly and it is likely there is a leak. Areas of the farm can then be turned off with isolation valves, to work out where the leaks are.

When a data logger and telemetry is installed, finding slow leaks is much easier. Night time water use over a period can be monitored and if water use is higher than it should be, then it may be due to leaks. If houses are connected to the stock drinking water line they may use water at night. Areas of the farm that the cows are not in can be turned off with isolation valves over successive nights to work out where the leak is. The nightly recorded water use can be checked to see if the water use has decreased.