Distribution Systems

Distribution Systems
Noninvasive leak detection reduces water loss

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Noninvasive leak detection reduces water loss

Problem

The Greensboro (N.C.) Water Resources Department used electronic listeners to locate leaks throughout a 1,500-mile service area. The technology had limited accuracy, especially when locating leaks under roadways and concrete structures. Officials searched for a more reliable solution that would not disrupt service or require excavation.

Solution

The city adopted LeakFinder, a Windows-based acoustic leak detection system from Echologics. An enhanced correlation function enables it to accurately identify and locate narrow-band leak noise in pipes of all diameters and materials.

Result: "We quickly pinpointed more than 50 leaks of various sizes in high-traffic areas without the enormous cost of excavating different locations to find them," says utility coordinator David Carpenter. 866/324-6564; www.echologics.com.

Turnkey solution limits financial risk

Problem

Only 33 percent of bills from the Philadelphia Water Department were based on actual reads. The utility wanted to eliminate estimated meter reads, improve customer service, and increase security and convenience of meter reading.

Solution

The city selected an automated meter reading system from Itron and sourced its installation, operation and maintenance to the company for 20 years. The turnkey solution helped limit the city's financial risk. Recently, the department began upgrading to 100W water communication modules for commercial and industrial customers, providing the flexibility to migrate to advanced metering infrastructure at the proper time.

Result: Nearly 500,000 accounts, or 99 percent, are read using the system, with a read success rate of 99.2 percent. It has improved customer service and advanced the utility to another level of excellence. 509/924-9900; www.itron.com.

Advanced metering infrastructure conserves water

Problem

Water Department technicians in Weatherford, Okla., spent one to two days per week manually reading water meters installed 20 to 40 years ago, and addressing service issues. Service desk personnel handled frequent customer billing complaints because many meters were inaccurate.

Solution

The city replaced the water meters and implemented the Mi.Net Infrastructure Network for Utilities, a two-way metering network from Mueller Systems. It alerts the department to high water usage and potential leaks and sends scheduled and on-demand meter readings. A web-based consumer portal enables households to monitor and compare current water usage to previous periods and set budget and conservation goals.

Result: The utility collects meter readings in less than one day. Weatherford's mayor credits the system with helping the city improve water conservation. 800/323-8584; www.muellersystems.com.

Pumps irrigate northern California district

Problem

The Cawelo (Calif.) Water District had system restrictions that prevented adequate irrigation water from reaching the northern section. A smaller area of the district had no service at all.

Solution

The district built two new pump stations using pumps from Ruhrpumpen.

Result: One station supplied the north area with a maximum of 36,804 gpm, and the second station supplied the non-service area with 14,362 gpm. 918/627-8400; www.rurhpumpen.com.



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