1 million gals in a month!!! Is that possible?

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by X-mow, Jul 27, 2005.

  1. X-mow

    X-mow LawnSite Member
    Posts: 145

    One of our commercial clients got a water bill for 1 million gals. for last month.
    So they had leak detection company monitor the water over the weekend.

    They said that over the weekend the irrigation system used 2700 gals.
    I did find a broken pipe on one station that runs 20 mins a day 6 days a week.

    The system had been set to run a total of 140 mins a day spread over 8 stations 6 days a week. I know that's probably too much but its still nowhere never a million gals in my mind. :help:
    O and incase you couldn't tell I don't work with irrigation much.
     
  2. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,794

    If this is a large commercial account, You could be dealing with very large pipe, and large mains.

    For you to use 2700 gallons in 40 (two days x 20 minutes) minutes due to a pipe break, you'd have to be flowing 67.5 GPM...Which for a commercial account with 3" mains, is not uncommon.

    Of course, assuming your only using 1350 gallons a day because of your leak, you'll suck up only 40635 gallons in a month (1350 x 7 x 4.3), which is 959365 gallons short of a million.

    Bottom line is, they need a new meter :)
     
  3. X-mow

    X-mow LawnSite Member
    Posts: 145

    I forgot to put this inmy other post the Irrigaion meter is 1"
     
  4. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,794

    I edited my above post.

    Theres no way to lose a million gallons in a month without catastrophic flood damage :)

    If you were to lose that all from one pipe break, you would have to be flowing 500,000 GPM.

    :)
     
  5. kerdog

    kerdog LawnSite Member
    Posts: 129

    Hey X-mow-----

    When water meters go 'bad"....it is in favor of the customer. The meter does'nt measure the flow correctly, it's slow. So, that means for example, that if ten gallons actually passed thru the meter, it only measured eight.

    What is the normal usage for that customer, for a month?
    How long has that pipe been broken?
    Was the sprinkler system 'on', both days, the week-end that the leak detection co. monitored the situation?
    Was the business open, or closed, that week-end?

    A 1" meter is 'capable' of 30 gpm, 1800 gallons an hour.....not saying it can...so.....1,000,000 divided by 30 days =33,333.3333333......per day, divided by 24 hours = 1,388 (+-) an hour.

    I'm sure the customer has already complained, but sounds like maybe the meter was incorrectly read, maybe not this month, but maybe last month, as well. More info needed? Lot of gpm, sounds like from the size of the system, (8 zones), that this customer isn't big enough to use that kind of gpm, in a month.

    kerdog
     
  6. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,794

    I installed a commercial system earlier this year. Only 4 zones.

    Yet I had over 60 heads per zone.

    3" main, close to 100 gpm.
     
  7. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,781

    yeah Jon, but he said it's a 1" meter.

    Now, I would believe the incorrect meter read theory. I see it a lot. The meters get "estimated" for whatever reason, and then when they do actually read the meter.........WHAM, they've got to adjust for the underestimating. If the sprinkler system has "issues" (i.e. leaks, excessive programing, etc.) then a month or two of "estimating" that did not factor in the sprinkler system would mean an adjustment that showed a million gallons very easily.
     
  8. kerdog

    kerdog LawnSite Member
    Posts: 129

    Yea Jon, I agree.....I wasn't too clear, I meant to refer to the actual customer use, excluding the sprinklers. But even that thinking is flawed. Obviously, I didn't give any thought to how 'big' a zone could be, given it's commercial. Lots of unknowns, here. Could be a huge place, with a large water bill, normally.

    Wonder, too, what the pipe size is, that was 'broken'.

    kerdog
     
  9. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,794

    Good point, not argueing with you any, but have you seen those 6" city mains in vaults that go straight into a commercial property that have a 1" meter elbowed off them? Like in the attached picture?

    I have no idea how that works, but you get great flow :)

    untitled.GIF
     
  10. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,781

    That looks like a fire sprinkler setup and the 1" meter is called a "leak detector". Usually, the meter is attached to a very large double check. Then it is refered to as a Leak Detector Assembly.
     

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