Pressure management strategies can be simple or complex when used to reduce water loss. The provider must balance the flow requirements of the customer and fire safety requirements of the community when adjusting system pressures.
Water pressure has a substantial impact on water loss. The higher the pressure, the more water is lost through leaks.
In many cases, pressure reduction is advised. It is widely considered that a 1% reduction in pressure could reduce existing system leak flow rates by between 0.5% up to 1.5% depending on pipe materials and type of leak.
Pressure variations and surges (often referred to as “Water Hammer”) can increase the frequency of water leakage. Knowing system pressure variations and attempting to mitigate the causes creating these conditions can calm the system operation.
Conversely, low water pressure could affect both fire protection and water quality. A comprehensive water audit, (described here), provides the necessary data to make appropriate adjustments to pressure systems.
Furthermore a pressure management program can reduce nighttime pressure increases. This lowers the amount of water lost from leakage and reduces the frequency of water main re-leakage from pressure increases.
Factoid: Water pressure only influences showers and lawn sprinkling in most residential applications. Toilets, dishwashers & washing machines are volume appliances. They will fill regardless of the pressure on the system.