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Non-revenue water

Water management

Water supply

Keeping NRW low through good management in Copenhagen

16. February 2021

Solution provider


HOFOR - Greater Copenhagen Utility is the largest utility company in Denmark. One million Danes depend on our supplies. The company is owned by 8 municipalities, and the City of Copenhagen owns 73 per cent of the company.

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The residents of the Danish capital consume approximately 31 million m3 water annually. The distribution network has a high average age, as 20 per cent of the network pipes are more than 100 years old. Despite this, the utility managed to keep the NRW level at just 5.6 per cent in 2019. Analysis shows that the cast iron pipes laid before 1945 have a low burst frequency. The high quality of these pipes, representing 50 per cent of the network, is key to the low NRW level. The real water loss in 2019 was 5.0 m3/km/day and the Infrastructure Leakage Index  (ILI) was 2.6. A low NRW value is achieved through appropriate planning and maintenance.

The water loss has been kept low through systematic leakage detection, where the system is manually surveyed in a three year cycle, combined with appropriate rehabilitation planning. The network rehabilitation planning is based on a methodical selection of the pipes that are most prone to bursts. The selection  considers the pipe material and age as well as leakage and burst history. To improve the balance between replacements and maintenance,

HOFOR is adopting an asset management and a management information system. The systems will also help optimise the periods between active leakage detection, aiming to achieve a higher degree of performance based asset management.