The world’s sewer systems are aging. United States sewer systems date back to the 1800s in some cities, and leaks or breaks are being seen in many states. The World Bank estimates that 32 billion cubic meters of water is lost per year due to leaks.

Small, tiny leaks are often to blame.

JERUSALEM ISRAEL – OCTOBER 26 2017: View of a Methane gas recycling tank part of a Sewage Treatment Plant in the Sorek Valley near Jerusalem Israel

Israel’s Curapipe company is offering an invasive “surgery for pipes.” Curapipe has worked to innovate the industry, offering what they call “automatic pig systems” that seal pipe leaks. The company also offers trenchless sewer repair through an automated system called “TALR.”

A sponge-like unit is used by the company to offer minimum disruption. Water pressure is used to detect leaks followed by an epoxy-based substance that seals the affected pipe. The company’s pilot program began in London in 2012 to help fix leaks in London’s sewer systems.

Aging sewer systems are a major problem around the world.

Israel, as a whole, has a national water system that is highly efficient. In 2009, it was announced that the NIS would invest 2 billion in a National Water System. The system would create new pipelines across 100 kilometers of water channels.

The system would connect five new desalination plants to supply up to 40% of the water to Israel’s residents.

Israel’s major sewage problems come directly from Gaza. Israeli beaches are suffering from overflowing sewage situations in Gaza. Fecal matter closed down Zikim Beach last year. The Water Authority announced plans to build a 3 million pipeline to pump sewage. Gaza’s raw sewage flows into Israel daily, polluting groundwater, interrupting desalination plants and endangering citizens.

Gaza’s electricity crisis is primarily to blame for the issue, with a lack of power to run sewage treatment facilities.

Israel must enact a plan to offer a dedicated electricity line to power sewage plants along Gaza to stop the flow of sewage into Israel. Walls have been erected to stop the sewage from entering through the border.

But in other areas of the world, there is a major crisis occurring that could pose a serious risk to communities.

Cities are dealing with hundreds of new leaks annually with a “whack-a-mole” type of situation occurring. Larger cities, in the past, had to shut down major portions of the city, causing traffic backups and business disruptions.

Costs can range from $2,000 – $7,000 to dig up a single pipe under city streets, with cities grossly under budget for sewer repair. Trenchless sewer repairs and Curapipe’s technology can help cities choose a cost-effective method of stopping leaks if pipes remain structurally sound.

Lining can be placed in the pipe to eliminate leaks and contamination while the old pipe remains. Small holes are drilled instead of a full excavation of the pipe. The repair allows the leak to be corrected without digging up city streets and impeding traffic for long periods of time.

Curapipe has signed several contracts to help fix the aging sewer systems across the world. The company’s technology is a step in the right direction to help fix leaks without the need to dig up infrastructure and replace old pipes. The LEAKCURE project has been launched in Europe and will utilize TALR systems to plug leaks in areas where urbanization, industrialization and changing weather conditions have impacted sewer systems.