Deputy Head of Waterworks Feldbach
What are the main aspects of water supply in Feldbach? Is the topic of “non-revenue water” a challenge in East Styria, too? If so, how are water losses detected? We wanted to hear this and much more from Mario Pankarter, the deputy head of the Municipal Waterworks Neue Stadt Feldbach. In an interview, he provides a fascinating insight into his work and tells us why “Made in Austria” is important to him.
How many people do you supply with water?
Our Feldbach waterworks is responsible for both water supply and water disposal. We have a water network of 300 km in length supplying some 14,000 inhabitants. To provide the population with water, we have 17 pumping stations, transfer shafts, and various wells, three of them newly renovated.
The Feldbach waterworks is also responsible for the house service connections - up to the meter unit. And since we are unable to provide the water on our own, we co-operate with the “Wasserverband Vulkanland” water board. After all, we supply not only the city of Feldbach, but also the surrounding communities.
How many house service connections do you build each year?
On average, we establish between 40 and 50 new connections.
What is your typical everyday routine like?
I mainly deal with work preparation for my employees. This includes scheduling for the following week, i.e., site coordination with various construction companies that support us in accomplishing the renovation work. And I supervise ongoing renovation work.
What are the greatest challenges in this respect?
Careful work. The work must be carried out thoroughly and cleanly to avoid potential problems in the future. This is what I pay most attention to.
How do you assess the issue of non-revenue water?
This is an interesting and sensitive subject. Locating leaks is time-consuming and must not be underestimated. Water consumption is increasing, and simultaneously, our pipeline networks are getting outdated. Therefore, investments are needed. We always try to renovate several kilometres of water pipeline. In most cases in the course of road renovation. In the process, we thoroughly examine what is sensible and try to act with foresight.
Which raw materials are most prone to leakage?
This is an intriguing question and not easy to answer. Sometimes, the durability of the different materials depends a lot on the features of the soil. There are asbestos cement pipes that are as good as new when excavated. One kilometre further on, the same pipe is almost completely corroded.
How do you find the leaks?
First of all, through observations of others. And, of course, on the occasion of meter exchanges. When we are inside a house, we hear a lot.
Which products do you use to repair leaks?
We always have Hawle Synoflex in stock because it offers a lot of flexibility in terms of pipe dimensions. It is the product we need most frequently in case of burst pipes since we must often connect a PVC pipe with a PE pipe. Using Synoflex is the quickest option here.
And which products do you use for house service connections?
We use all service valves. We try to put them onto the pipeline so we can track the course of the main line in the future.
Which aspects do you consider important when it comes to valves?
That they are available when needed, of course. Another essential aspect is the added value. To me, it is important where the products come from. I am a trained plumber, one “of the old school”, and I set store by the fact that the money remains in Austria instead of being taken abroad. Moreover, value added inside Austria safeguards jobs.
Another aspect is the quality of the products. It must be such that I can rely on it.
Why do you count on Hawle?
Because their products are simply good. Period.
They are easy to install, and there is nothing you can think of that they don’t have.
Hawle has been producing high-quality valves and pipe connections for water supply for over 70 years. This vast experience and the highest quality make our company a reliable partner for water supply companies worldwide.