"Bad luck" left Gelderland residents without water for nearly 24 hours

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Some 30 thousand households in Zevenaar, Doesburg, Rijnwaarden and surrounds were without water for nearly 24 hours due to "bad luck", according to water company Vitens, the Gelderlander reports.

Usually breaks and leaks can be repaired within a few hours. But this one was super hard to find. The crack in the water pipe was near the IJssel river, resulting in the water leaking into the river. And water main leaks in the Netherlands are not found using specialist equipment, but with the naked eye - when customers complain about their water not running, water company employees physically go and look to see where the water is leaking.

Vitens is working on a "smart grid" experiment in Friesland, in which sensors are placed in the pipes. But even sensors do not necessarily mean that all leaks can be found quickly, Jan Vreeburg, piping researcher at Wageningen University and KWR Watercycle Research Institute, said to the newspaper. The Dutch drinking water network is some 120 thousand kilometers long. You will need very many sensors to cover every inch.