Case Study | August 22, 2012

The Sewerage & Water Board Of New Orleans Non-Invasively Locates Massive Leak, Reduces Non-Revenue Water

Source: Mueller Water Products

The Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans (SWBNO) has been using acoustic leak detection for perhaps two decades. However, in early 2011 it incorporated Echologics’ acoustic-based leak detection and pipe condition assessment services into its water loss management and water pipe integrity assessment program aimed at reducing non-revenue water (NRW), which The International Water Association defines as water that has been produced and is “lost” before it reaches the customer. According to the American Water Works Association, NRW costs public water systems approximately $2.8B in yearly revenue.

As part of its NRW initiative, SWBNO leverages Echologics for a combination of ongoing flow meter maintenance, distribution network leak detection and transmission main leak detection. Following the installation of a flow meter, which was repaired by Echologics, on a 50” inch transmission main, Echologics engineers noticed sudden increases of water flow with minimum night flows that roughly doubled in a matter of minutes. Because significant fluctuations in flow rates are typically indicative of major leaks or significant changes in mainline valve configuration, the engineers informed SWBNO that they suspected a problem.

Echologics engineers were dispatched to investigate the issue. The investigation began by non-invasively surveying smaller mains that branched off of the 50” inch transmission main.

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