Private water firm starts pilot project on leaks

| 11/03/2014

(CNS): Cayman Water is beginning a pilot project in the half mile radius around its Abel Castillo Water Works, located off the Esterly Tibbetts Highway, to detect leaks, using helium tracer technology. In a release from the company on Monday it said the water was safe to drink as the noble gas is odourless, colourless, tasteless, non-toxic and will not affect the quality of the water. The pilot project is aimed at pinpointing leaks in its buried water mains, as the firm said it loses between 12-14% of water produced through pipe leaks. The water firm said that the technology has been used safely and effectively in both the Untied States and Europe and the project has been approved by Water Authority-Cayman.

The private water company that supplies the West Bay area said the gas dissolves in the water and whenever water leaks are present in the piped water network, the dissolved helium leaks out along with water. The helium quickly separates from the water and rises through the soil to the surface. Trained technicians with specialized detection equipment then detect the elevated level of helium to identify and pinpoint the leak location for repair.

Helium, the gas used in party balloons, is a naturally occurring element and is the second most abundant element in the universe. The atmosphere we breathe contains 5 parts per million helium concentrations. The company stated that it is an approved food additive and the product used for this project is National Sanitary Foundation ANSI 60 standard certified for drinking water use, which it assured customers produces no ill effects.

The firm said the pilot project was aimed at reducing waste to improve efficiency of the water service and limit the effects of necessary repair work on the roads. It also said it would reduce CO2 emissions because it would cut down on electricity use as well.

See statement below.

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Comments (6)

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  1. Kadafe says:

    I wonder if they give a 12 – 14% reduction in the monthly bill to make up for the spillage?

  2. Anonymous says:

    And after the fix, the profits will go up 10%, instead your bill going 10% down.

  3. Anonymous says:

    So your bill is 10% to high.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Don't be surprised if you come accross some residents in the West Bay Rd area floating in midair.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Helium tracer? So we will all talk like Donald duck very shortly…should be amusing.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Just one more reason our water bills are so high.