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Why There is Air in the Water Supply

Water, the elixir of life, flows effortlessly from our taps, ready to quench our thirst and aid in our daily tasks. However, have you ever wondered why sometimes your water seems a bit... airy? Or perhaps why your water meter occasionally ticks away faster than you anticipated? The answer lies in the intricate dynamics of fluid systems, where air can sneak its way into our water supply, causing not only inconvenience but also financial implications for consumers. Let's delve into the reasons behind the presence of air in water supplies, and how it impacts water meter readings.

The Presence of Air in Water Supply

Water travels through a complex network of pipes before reaching our homes. Along this journey, air can enter the system through various means. One common source is leaks or cracks in the pipes, which allow air to infiltrate and mix with the water. Additionally, changes in pressure within the pipes can cause air pockets to form, especially at high points in the system or where pipes bend or narrow.

Another factor contributing to air in the water supply is the phenomenon of dissolved gases. Just like how carbon dioxide dissolves in soda, gases such as oxygen and nitrogen can dissolve in water. When water is pressurized in the pipes, these dissolved gases can be released, creating tiny bubbles that give the water a cloudy or aerated appearance.

Impact on Water Meter Readings


Water meters are essential for accurately measuring water usage and determining utility bills. However, the presence of air in the water supply can complicate this process. Traditional water meters are designed to measure the volume of fluid passing through them, whether it's water, air, or a mixture of both.

When air bubbles pass through the water meter, they can cause the meter to overestimate the volume of water flowing through the system. This is because air is less dense than water, so the meter may interpret the presence of air bubbles as additional water passing through, leading to inflated readings.

Air in Water Pipes

Consequences for Consumers


The repercussions of inaccurate water meter readings can be significant for consumers. Overestimations can result in higher water bills, effectively causing customers to pay for water they haven't actually used. For individuals or businesses, these extra charges can adversely affect the bottom line.

Solutions and Mitigation Measures

In terms of water meter technology, advancements are being made to develop meters that are more accurate and less susceptible to errors caused by air bubbles. Ultrasonic and electromagnetic meters, for example, are capable of distinguishing between air and water, providing more precise measurements even in the presence of air pockets.


The Wave Valve by FluidLytix can help pressurize water and minimize air as the water flows through the meter. This can reduce water bills by up to 30%, while at the same time lowering actual water usage by up to 9%.

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