Vol. 4 Num 59 Fri. July 25, 2003  
Front Page

Change in leaky pipes can reduce 25pc water loss

About 25 per cent systems loss of water supplied by Dhaka Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) could be reduced through immediate replacement of its cracked pipelines, officials said.

There is no alternative to immediate replacement of one fourth of WASA's 2,258km pipelines to reduce systems loss significantly, they added.

Forty-nine per cent of the WASA water is lost to systems loss, Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives Minister Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan told the Jatiya Sangsad recently.

The WASA has a supply capacity of 150 crore litres a day against the demand for 160 litres.

Pilferage is another main cause for the systems loss, officials said.

"The replacement of pipelines will also cut the loss significantly, as some corrupt staff set up illegal supply lines and blame the pipelines for the loss," an official said, requesting anonymity.

Of the WASA supply lines, more than 15 to 20 per cent are of cast iron (CI) and mild steel (MS) pipes and 2 to 3 per cent are of asbestos cement (AC) ones.

The AC and MS pipes were installed about 30 or 40 years ago. The lifetime of the AC pipelines has already expired and the MS pipelines have rusted and cracked.

The MS pipes cover a large part of Dhanmondi, Motijheel and Mohammadpur areas, while the AC pipelines criss-cross Lalmatia, Khilgaon, Moghbazar, Malibagh, Mirpur and a few areas in Banani, Mohammadpur and Segunbagicha.

Most pipelines in Lalbagh, Chakbazar, Sadarghat, Banglabazar, Gandaria, Islampur, Sutrapur, Bangshal, Armanitola and parts of Narinda are made of cast iron. They were installed during the British rule.

Deposition of chemicals and filth pipes has reduced the radius the capacity of the CI pipes to carry water. Besides, iron bacteria thrive inside the pipelines, sources said.

The ruptured pipes also pollute and carry contaminated water to clients' houses, they added.

The systems loss has hobbled the WASA efforts to raise its capacity and ensure better supply to customers despite the launch of Sayedabad Water Treatment Plant.

About 75 per cent of WASA's supply network is made of the PVC pipes, which are in a good serviceable condition, the officials said.

The WASA took up Water Pipelines Installation and Replacement project last year.

Under the project, which will end in 2007, the CI and MS pipes will be replaced.