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Pilot Program In Water Loss Management
July 25, 2005

American Water, the largest water services provider in North America, recently announced a first-of-its-kind program that uses acoustic information from an automatic meter reading (AMR) system to detect and repair water leaks. Leaks are a problem plaguing public water systems nationwide. In its 2005 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, the American Society of Civil Engineers states that “each day, six billion gallons of clean, treated drinking water disappears, mostly due to old, leaky pipes and mains…enough water to serve the population of a state the size of California.”

The unique AMR program, piloted in the Connellsville, PA water system, has equipped 500 of the water meters with an “MLOG” leak detecting sensor, manufactured by Flow Metrix, and an AMR transmitter as part of a fixed network system designed by Hexagram, Inc. Permanently installed on pipes near water service meters, MLOG sensors record sound vibrations over a period of four hours each night. Specially designed software analyzes these acoustical patterns and assigns them one of four leak categories: no leak present, possible leak, probable leak, or no data available.

The Connellsville pilot is one of a series of water leak programs American Water plans to monitor within the next year, including two already-completed projects in Uniontown, Pa. and Manville, N.J., which utilize MLOG sensors, but not AMR technology.

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