Case Study - November 2020

Case Study - November 2020
Leak detection system helps reduce nonrevenue water

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Fixed acoustic sensors successful in detecting hidden leak


The Arlington (Texas) Water Utilities is responsible for 1,440 miles of water pipes serving more than 398,112 residents. In the past few years, Arlington has made significant improvements to limit water loss due to main breaks and unauthorized consumption. The water loss dropped from 12.75% in 2014 to 8.25% in 2019. Ric Owens, a water conservation specialist at Arlington Water Utilities, has been working with Aquarius Spectrum’s leak detection technology for several years.


During May 2020, the utility installed several Aquarius fixed acoustic sensors, and a short time after the installation, the system indicated a point of interest around the four-way tee at Green Apple Lane and Legend Road. The team went out to the site and located the leak physically at roughly 4 feet from the tee on the 4-inch PVC pipe. Since the system showed a suspected leak about 4 feet from the exact location where it was found, the local staff was able to locate the leak in a short, fast process and without the need to carry out unnecessary excavations.


The leak that was found was medium size at about 5 gpm. If the leak would have continued to develop and run for another year until it reached the surface, it would have produced a loss of about 2,628,000 gallons, worth a total of $3,942. “These sensors pick up a 0.5 gpm leak at the distances we have on these normal couplings at several hundred feet apart. That is incredible,” Owens says. “I have found 15 to 20 private leaks inside houses from toilets and other things. In most of those cases, the meter didn’t pick up the flow. So far, we haven’t given our crew an issue from this system that wasn’t correct within 6 feet.” 


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