World Water Day 2017

World Water Day 2017

Today, the 22nd March, is a global celebration day, known as World Water Day, created by the United Nations back in 1993.  You may be asking why we need this – what’s it all about?

The United Nations General Assembly took the view that there was a vital need, to highlight to the world, the problems being faced globally with regards to water, not just as a natural resource – being the main building block in the life and survival of every single human being – but as a vital necessity for society and, for life as we know it, to be maintained.

In an ever-changing and developing world, water is needed on a health and social level, but in addition, a large part of our economy relies on water, with over half of the world’s population, in some way, working with water or being involved in water-related industries.  Running a small office with four employees, a small café on the High Street or a multinational corporation – all only continuing to trade and exist due to the provision of water.

To try and increase awareness and illustrate the concerns regarding water, the UN chooses a new theme each year – an expression of water’s importance that can be visualised and understood around the world.   Each country is encouraged to arrange events and celebrations for World Water Day based on their needs and requirements for water within their own national society.

For example, in previous years they have had Water for Sanitation, Water and Food Security (the lack of water means lack of food), and Water for Cities, responding to the increase in water usage due to our ever-growing urban cities.

Fresh water, in particular, is very much taken for granted.  For the majority of us, taking a shower, flushing a toilet and having a drink of water is a natural daily occurrence, however many countries around the world lack this basic resource resulting in famine and death.

The theme for 2017, is called ‘Wastewater’ and is highlighting the drastic need to reduce water wastage but also identify ways to reuse water in an attempt to maintain and improve the world’s demand on our precious resource.

Therefore, we thought it would be helpful – in giving our support to World Water Day – to provide you with some hints on how you can reduce your water usage, reuse your water and a key tip on how to check that you not unknowingly wasting water:-

  1. Fit your toilets with a double flush mechanism – this allows a very short flush (needed for most occasions) and reduces water usage.
  1. Turn off the tap while you’re brushing your teeth, just turn on to rinse.
  1. Shower rather than bathe – whilst we all love to stand and debate our day in the relaxing heat of a shower – let’s use it for what it’s for – get in, get washed and get out.
  1. Make the most of the rains – set up water butts around your property to make the most of storing the water which can be then be used for watering the garden.
  1. In hotter times, use pans of cooled cooking water or bath water to water plants.
  1. Make sure taps are switched off properly and not left to drip.
  1. And keep an eye on your usage by checking your water bills. Water leaks, even small ones, will be leaking clean water – water that incurred a cost to be cleaned and sent to your home – if you have a leak then you need to deal with the problem swiftly.

Working together to improve our water usage and learn to reuse water – just as we have with the recycling of goods and rubbish – is the aim and now, innovative technology has been created to assist with reducing water wastage.  If you are concerned that you have a leak in your home or business premises, then a simple scan of the structure of the property – using various types of technology such as infrared – can identify a leak or damp patch and pinpoint its location.  This allows a swift, cost effective, repair.

You avoid the cost of extensive rectification works and help to support the UN and World Water Day by being more conscious of the ways in which water can be wasted.

Happy World Water Day!

Parks and Football Pitches – Don’t Let Water Leaks Win

Parks and Football Pitches – Don’t Let Water Leaks Win

Parks and Football Pitches – Healthy Grass Using Less Water 

It’s probably safe to say that for most of us, the sight of green grass brings about images of sunshine, happy times, holidays, games and long summer days.  At some point, we all make use of our communal parks, greens and sports facilities, whether it’s for an afternoon stroll, a picnic with the family or a football game.  However, keeping the grass green and fresh in these large facilities is no easy task.

It’s common knowledge that Dubai experiences lots of sun and too little rainfall, resulting in large shortages of water for the people of the UAE.  As a result, Dubai has been looking at ways of reducing water usage, particularly with the watering of grass and shrubs in the parks and sports facilities.

Various methods are used to maintain the grass keeping it healthy and usable but they all have their faults.  Irrigation systems are the common theme, but many experience problems.

Spray irrigation systems not only pose the problem of the water droplets evaporating in the heat before they hit the ground, but they are not ideal in public parks.  Nobody wants to walk through a park under a pipe network being sprayed with water, it’s not possible.  They are more suitable for agricultural land.

Another system utilised is the drop type irrigation, where pipes are laid under the land and small holes let out drops of water right at the grass’s roots, avoiding evaporation.  However, with the sandy realms common in these climates, the water often sinks through into the sand below.

A newer idea and more complex than that above, is to excavate the area to be irrigated, lay a water proof membrane to prevent water sinking away through the sand, then lay the gravel and pipework, with turf laid on top.  This way the roots are being watered directly but any excess water accumulates, advantageous in drier periods as it remains inside the membrane, decreasing the water usage.

However, these systems are only appropriate and cost effective if they are properly maintained and kept in good working order.  It’s pointless if the area floods and games pitches cannot be used and matches have to be canceled and it is not ideal to have a picnic in a waterlogged park.

Particularly with the two underground irrigation systems above, if either one of those experiences a leak or damage to the pipework, it would be a very expensive task to dig up the pipes to locate the leak.  All that water and money saved, only to be spent on rectification costs.

The good news is that to assist these new ideas and improvements to reduce water usage, there is now new innovative technology that can be used to help maintain these irrigation systems.  Experts using specialised equipment, scan the ground using infrared and thermal imaging, allowing leaks to be swiftly detected and their exact location pinpointed, allowing small, cost effective repairs to be carried out.  In addition, when a new irrigation system is laid, a sensory system can be installed into the pipework which will alert you to any leaks or water problems within the system, again allowing a proactive approach to maintenance rather than reactive.

If you are responsible for maintaining the large public parks or sports centres and want to ensure your irrigation system is working to its full potential, contact us and arrange for your site to be investigated – working together to keep Dubai green!

For information on how we can help if you suspect a leak, consult LeakDTech’s professionals now!

Residential and Commercial Property Checks – Pressure testing plumbing lines on new buildings.

Residential and Commercial Property Checks – Pressure testing plumbing lines on new buildings.

Pressure Testing Plumbing Lines – Can Your New Plumbing Lines Pass The Pressure Test?

With all areas of construction, whether residential, commercial or industrial, many tests and checks have to be carried out to ensure that the completed buildings are safe for use.  This can range from gas supply leak checks and the testing of electricity supplies, to the certification of properly fitted doors and windows.

However, one important element that has to be thoroughly checked is the pipework and water systems.  Water is a destructive natural force and damage from any water escape can cost thousands of pounds.

Installing a new water system into a property is not just about providing running water from a tap and the ability to flush a toilet; there are various aspects to consider including:-

  • Minimising the sound of water flow, either when running through pipes or from the tank.
  • The material of the fitted pipes should be appropriate for the temperatures of the flowing water and local standards.
  • Pipework needs to be compatible with and properly connected to heating or cooling systems.
  • Line pressure of the water flow in and out of the system is correct, thereby avoiding contamination, backflow, leaks and burst pipes.

A water system is a continuous cycle and the pressure applied is what forces the water around that system.  The flow of the water has to be varied for different uses; you would not want the water from a kitchen tap to gush at the same rate as it would to flush a toilet. Too little pressure would result in a trickle from your tap, not ideal when filling a bathtub.

Therefore, the system has to be set up correctly with the appropriate rate of pressure being applied where necessary.   You need to consider where the water is flowing to, for example if it is being sent up a twenty storey office block; a higher amount of pressure would be needed via a booster pump compared to sending it to the upstairs bathroom in a house.

One common danger is when the pressure that is applied is too much and the force of the water causes a burst pipe.  Incorrect pressure can also cause trapped air pockets, increasing the pressure on the valves and seals.  In most systems, water pumps and pressure valves are used to control the water flow but it is vital to test the property after installation, to ensure the level of pressure is correct and instigating a system of regular monitoring and maintenance to avoid water leaks.

Many websites attempt to advise on how to check the pressure of your water system – filling with water using gravity, taking measurements and making calculations – but do you really have the time and skill to do this and be confident that you pipe-line installations are correctly installed with zero leaks?

A cost effective way to have the entire pipe system checked (both supply and drainage lines), is ensuring pipe integrity via the use of higher pressure testing up to full design pressure instead of that of just gravity.  Also checking that water flow is safe and correct through the use of water detection equipment.  An NDT non-invasive, innovative, affordable technology-based service that can swiftly test all your pipework and provide you with a seal of approval that the property is safe and good to go prior to hand over!

For information on how we can help if you suspect a leak, consult LeakDTech’s professionals now!

Toxic Mould – How Safe is Your Home?

Toxic Mould – How Safe is Your Home?

Toxic Mould – How Safe Is Your Home?

Whenever you say the word mould people get the impression of stale, horrible looking products whether it is on food or objects.   Mould is fungus made up of multicellular filaments called hyphae.

In order for mould to grow it requires certain conditions including the following:-

  • A base i.e. wood or material.
  • Darkness.
  • Warmth – cosy snug areas such as behind cupboards or in airing cupboards. Just as when your bread goes mouldy, it is because it is stored in a container or a bread bag keeping it warm.
  • Oxygen and moisture.

Therefore, one of the key causes of mould in the home is water leaks which are a primary cause.

One of the worst mould scenarios is if there is a water leak in a part of the property you cannot access, such as behind walls, fitted wardrobes, under floorboards or in ceiling structures.

Mould is not a nice problem to have and results in many items having to be replaced, especially if it has eaten in to materials such as curtains or carpet, an expense you could do without.

However, what a lot of people do not realise is that serious bouts of mould, known as Black Mould, can be dangerous to the health of you and your family.  Black mould is the worse type of mould you can get, it is toxic and is primarily known to grow in areas of high condensation and water damage.

If you have a suspicion that mould is collecting within your property due to a bad smell, or if you can actually see mould collecting on even the smallest areas within your home, the quicker you take action, the sooner you will begin to manage what could become a huge problem.

Luckily today, there are ways to find the source of the damp that leads to mould build up where the latest technologies can be deployed to quickly find and halt the continued spread of mould in your home.

For information on how we can help if you suspect a leak, consult LeakDTech’s professionals now!

Ground Water Levels and Risks to Underground Car Parks

Ground Water Levels and Risks to Underground Car Parks

Groundwater Levels And Risks To Underground Car Parks

With the well-known heat experienced in Dubai, more and more structures are being built inside away from the sun.  It is far more common now for city centre facilities such as carparks, to be built underground, particularly underneath new hotels and shopping complexes.

An important factor with underground facilities is the surrounding ground’s water table.  In essence, this is the amount of water in the ground which mixes with the soil and fractured rock and creates the stable surface which we walk and build on every day.   The water either comes from underground sources nearby, such as rivers and streams or, alternatively, from rain or installed irrigation systems.

If the subterranean water levels increase, due to leaks or heavy rainfall, the water table rises, effectively causing flooding and the groundwater will look for drier areas or a point of entry through which to drain.  This can cause issues for underground structures, particularly if the waterproofing to boundary walls is poorly installed or experiences leaks, a common problem for old and new buildings alike.

Whilst there are many ways that an underground structure can be waterproofed, including proofing applied to the exterior of the boundary walls, or a concrete structure with an integrated waterproofing system; there is always the risk of small cracks or gaps that can appear, allowing groundwater to seep through the boundary walls.  It would be difficult to detect if water was seeping through, but the most common indicators would be cracked and damaged concrete to the interior floors and walls.

Car park owners will want to ensure their facilities remain in a good, clean and tidy state, encouraging customers to return.  If water leaks create ugly and hazardous looking cracks and damage, the car park will lose business.  In addition, leaking water can cause slippery floors, posing risks to pedestrians and, alkaline salt drips onto car paintwork, all of which could result in expensive damage claims on top of the building’s repair bills!

Luckily there are now ways in which leaks can be accurately located from either above ground, or inside the structure.  The creation of a new innovative technology using a combination of damp-testing, ground penetrating radars and thermal imaging, allows problems to be swiftly and economically resolved, keeping your car park, clean and safe for busy city life.

For information on how we can help if you suspect a leak, consult LeakDTech’s professionals now!

Dubai Rains are coming! – are you prepared?

Dubai Rains are coming! – are you prepared?

Heavy Rainfall – How to Prepare and What to Check
As we have seen over recent years, with our ever changing global climate, there is the regular occurrence of heavy storms with relentless rain causing flooded grounds and properties, a costly and upsetting situation to watch unfold.
When heavy rainfall is forecast you want to try and make sure you have taken every precaution to protect your home and family.We want to provide you with some useful information and guidance on what you can do to make your home as waterproof and safe as possible:-

    • Take time to wander around your property and identify where water could backup when there is sudden heavy or persistent rain. For example, your gutters and down pipes are not designed to hold lots of water in a short space of time.  If they are blocked up with natural debris or rubbish, the rain will find it hard to drain away.  Regularly check to ensure they are clear and ready for weather.
    • Flat roofs on most properties can collect debris throughout the year and collect around roof drains during times of rain leading to a larger than expected collection of water, causing levels to rise and then flood down into any property.
    • Examine your windows and doors for any gaps or areas where sealant or insulation is missing or lose, particularly with conservatory fixtures. Water can seep in through the smallest of gaps.
    • Electricity is always a risk in bad weather. Ensure that any outside exposed electrical points around summer houses and deckings are well covered.   Some electrical appliances are safer when raised and fitted to walls, preventing them being at ground level. If you are prone to flooding, raise your electrical sockets and always make sure your fuse box is accessible.
    • Any air vents, air bricks and drains should be securely closed and covered to avoid any water filtering through.
    • If you have low placed windows, doors or access points, use sand bags or other flood barriers to barricade these areas minimising the risk of flooding.
    • Finally, heavy rain water can be pushed back through drains and pipes which lead out from your sinks and appliances. If you have a leaking or cracked pipe in your water system, this increased pressure can result in burst pipes, causing further major damage within your property.

As you can see above, there are many steps that you can take and precautions you can put in place to try and avoid water leaking or flooding into your home, but there are a couple of areas where you will not realise there is a problem until after the event, such as the pressure on your internal water pipes.  When there is damage to any of your pipes, the pressure from extra water will only lead to more significant problems.

There are technological ways which can help to prevent this situation by having a leak detection system put in place.  This is managed by way of multiple sensors, appropriately placed through your plumbing or property in order to monitor and detect for water leaks or problems and alert you.  Not everything can be avoided but with water leaks so if you cannot see it, arrange to detect it!

For information on how we can help if you suspect a leak, consult LeakDTech’s professionals now!