If one drop of water leaks every two seconds, by the end of the week, 20 gallons would have been wasted. For water utilities, the risk of leaks and unauthorized consumption can be considerably more than a few drops, especially for those without an automated leak-detection strategy. Other non-revenue challenges, such as meter inconsistencies and billing errors, only compound this loss.
Take for instance the Kansas City Board of Public Utilities (BPU), whose technicians were challenged to isolate an underground leak that had caused problems for eight months. “We knew there was a leak, but it was underground somewhere with no visible markers,” says BPU’s Director of Water Distribution, Steve Green. A non-BPU inspector evaluating a storm-sewer project located the break.
BPU’s risk of water loss is huge, considering its service territory is nearly half of the size of New York City and serves 51,000 water customers, with 1,000 water mains, 16,000 valves, and 7,200 fire hydrants. Green mentions that, historically, BPU’s daily, non-revenue water loss was nearly 180 gallons per service connection.
Knowing that BPU needed to address its processes for efficient problem isolation and remediation, Green devised a strategy to significantly improve its ability to isolate, assess and correct issues by partitioning BPU’s service area into smaller District Metered Areas, each with a metering system that tracked water entering and exiting the system.
To realize this strategy, BPU selected Atonix Digital’s Performance Analysis software, powered by ASSET360®, to collect meter data from the district and summarize distribution system health at a glance, in near real-time. With this tool, BPU is now able to not only set performance goals but quickly achieve them. The utility continues to significantly reduce leaks in its water distribution system through its automated detection and measurement solution, and to accelerate its repair process.
“If we didn’t have this software,” Green explains, “we would have to compute everything feeding into us. Performance Analysis calculates the benefits for me instantly. The key for us is, instead of just going out to search for leaks indiscriminately, we want to be able to see which specific areas need the leak detection.” Today the utility’s water loss is below 100 gallons per connection per day; and has a leak index of 1.8 in this zone, using standards set by the American Water Works Association.
Don’t let leaks and unauthorized consumption affect your bottom line. Atonix Digital helped BPU save nearly $117,000 last year with its Performance Analysis software. Read the full success story and find out what Atonix Digital can do for your water utility.
And learn more about the project with KC BPU at the AWWA ACE conference next week! “Digital Transformation of Water Loss Control at Kansas Board of Public Utilities” takes place on June 11 at 9:30am MDT.