Picture: Looking down a Toronto city water main, removed in July, 2007
The "Water Works" department does an exeptional job in filtering and purifying our city water supply, unfortunately from the time it leaves the various pumping/storage stations and enters into the underground plumbing network, (infrastructure) which distributes the water to our homes, buildings, schools and places of business; it is subject to changes and contamination.
In Toronto for example;
The plumbing infrastructure which is responsible for delivering the cities potable water supply is old, some dating back to 1859, and it is "deteriorating and bursting all over".
» 1,300 city water main breaks in an average year
» an Average of 25 water main breaks per week
» 50 years is the average age of our city`s water mains
» at least 20% of city water mains are 80 years old
» 8% of city water mains are older than a century
Toronto has 5,920 kilometers of plumbing infrastructure to worry about!
Toronto Water Staff reports that an estimated 9 to 10 % of the water pumped into our distribution/plumbing infrastructure system, is lost before it is delivered.
Although these facts are based on Toronto`s aging plumbing infrastructure, the same can be said for other cities, towns and municipalities.
MOST if not ALL of the city`s water mains are made of steel and/or cast iron. Given the age of these pipes, corrosion remains the biggest problem.
Corrosion in our city water mains leads to rust build-up within them, which eventually is swept into our water supply through the repetitive water pressure disruptions and by the many broken water mains.
Particulate Matter and other physical impurities in our water supply can have a significant detrimental impact on building maintenance and operational costs, especially with the progessively smaller water pathways of Low Consumption faucets, showers, toilets and Green (LEED) Products.
» leaky toilets, which can waste more than 300,000 litres of water per year
» early erosion of copper pipes
» sediment build-up in hot water tanks
» erosion of hot water tank liners exposing bare metal which causes tanks to rust
» water discoloration
» build-up on boiler heat transfer elements
» clogging and obstruction of faucet aerators
» malfunction of pressure regulating valves
» wear and tear on booster pumps and recirculating pumps
» malfunction of shut-off valves
» leaky and faulty flush-o-meters
» malfunction of electronic faucets, toilets and urinals
» leaky faucets and shower controls
» staining of fixtures
» unpleasant drinking water
Picture: This picture was taken during a building water meter replacement