MUNICIPALITIES LEARN FROM HOMEOWNERS’ EXAMPLE
American Leak Detection has found over seven million leaks since 1974 establishing the franchise system as a leader in the world of saving water. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “Household leaks can waste more than 1 trillion gallons annually nationwide,” and homeowners who fix easily corrected household water leaks can save themselves about 10 percent on their water bills. Whether the leak is in hidden plumbing, a pool, a slab foundation, sewer, commercial or municipal lines, American Leak Detection finds leaks without damaging property.
LEARNING FROM THE GRASSROOTS
Homeowners are American Leak Detection’s primary customers, but municipalities often seek out the professional “Leak Specialists” to administer water system surveys. Between January 8, 2013, and February 20, 2013, American Leak Detection of East Tennessee completed a leak detection survey for the town of Oliver Springs Water Department which maintains and distributes water to over 2200 customers. The water distribution system has approximately 70 miles (112.7 kilometers) of water mains, ranging in size from two inches to ten inches (50.8 millimeters to 254 millimeters). For the leak survey, 30 miles (48.3 kilometers) of the water distribution system were selected as the focus.
The entire survey was conducted using leak detection survey devices such as American Leak Detection’s proprietary “XLT99 Leak Surveyor” and a Sewerin correlator. The system’s leaks were detected utilizing highly sensitive sonic leak detection equipment where a special microphone (accelerometer) is coupled to valves, fire hydrants, meter curb stops and any available appurtenances in the water distribution system to detect leaks. A total of sixty-nine leaks were detected and, as of American Leak Detection’s last day on the job, the Water Department repair crews had repaired fifteen of the leaks.
Upon completing the survey American Leak Detection of East Tennessee’s owner, Jeff Deel, concludes, “A conservative water loss estimate for the 69 leaks detected during the survey would equal 2,980,000 gallons [11,280,527 liters] per month.”
THE IMPORTANCE OF LEAK SURVEYS
Leak surveys have been popular in the Pacific Northwest as well. During the month of February, American Leak Detection of Oregon and Southwest Washington completed a five day survey for a small water district in Sheridan, Oregon. They covered 35 miles (56.3 kilometers) of pipe and found leaks totaling 23 gallons (87 liters) per minute.
The district water operator was very impressed with the expertise and efficiency of our Salem technician.
Shari Botermans, franchise owner, estimated once the leaks found are repaired, they could save up to one million gallons (3,785,411 liters) of water per month. “The district water operator was very impressed with the expertise and efficiency of our Salem technician, Dan Schaffner,” says Botermans. “He was extremely thankful for our assistance and said ‘it was the best money the District ever spent.’”
American Leak Detection of Oregon and Southwest Washington’s municipal client list includes 121 different cities, water districts and associations. The office averages at least one five day survey per month and performs a multitude of one day or site specific jobs for public utilities every week. During March’s “Fix A Leak Week,” they worked for the city of Banks doing a three-day survey, and this month they will be in the city of The Dalles.
SPREADING THE NEWS, SEALING LEAKS
Also in the Pacific Northwest, American Leak Detection of Spokane and Tri-Cities’ owner, Patti Godwin, says they are currently working on their third municipal survey in the past year. The city of Lewiston in Lewiston, Idaho, which is known for their steadfastness in maintaining their water system, had a 25 mile (40.3 kilometer) survey completed during which three issues were discovered. Also a part of the Spokane territory, the city of Walla Walla had its system checked for leaks this past October unearthing 37 leaks in the 45 miles (72.4 kilometers) of lines surveyed. The city is fervently making strides to save water as it has already fixed all 37 leaks, and 50 more miles (80.5 kilometers) will be surveyed by Godwin’s team.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jennifer Nachtweih is the PR and social media specialist for American Leak Detection, the world leader in accurate, non-destructive detection of hidden water, sewer and gas leaks in residential, commercial and municipal buildings. To schedule an appointment with a leak detection specialist, call 866.570.LEAK, or for more information, visit www.americanleakdetection.com.
MODERN PUMPING TODAY, March 2014
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