Calculating the water loss and leakage in the water distribution networks (WDNs) are performed for various reasons such as monitoring and optimizing, active control, estimating economical damage, and predicting the demand in the network development plans. In this research, two leakage calculation methods including Background and Bursts Estimates (BABE) and Minimum Night Flow (MNF) have been evaluated for a rural network in the north of Iran with a high non-revenue water (NRW) percentage of 47%. Initially, the data related to the inlet flow rate of the network and the average pressure at zone were measured using ultrasonic flow meters and pressure transmitter, respectively. Then, remote data loggers collected these data. With the water loss analyses based on the BABE method (annually) and based on the MNF technique (every 10 minutes), the average leak was found to be 1.45 and 1.105 Lit/s, respectively. Also, according to hydraulic and consumption conditions, the highest frequency of MNF occurrence was observed at 00:00 and 05:00. Moreover, the effects of Legitimate Night-time Consumption (LNC) and leakage exponent (N) were evaluated. The results indicate that determining the LNC, especially in the networks in which the domestic customers use private tanks is significantly important.


  • Two leak estimation methods, including BABE and MNF, were evaluated for a rural water network in Iran.

  • Effect of various water distribution pressures on the consumption pattern is presented.

  • Effect of legitimate night-time consumption (LNC) and leakage exponent (N) on the obtained results are investigated.

  • Using private tanks by domestic customers is a significantly important parameter in leakage estimation.

Graphical Abstract

Graphical Abstract
Graphical Abstract
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