Smart Leak Detection Minimizes Water Loss During $13.5bn Water Infrastructure Upgrade
Smart water loss and leak detection technology company Gutermann is helping Miami-Dade County, Florida, keep its non-revenue water loss to less than 10 percent as its implements a $13.5 billion capital improvement upgrade to water and sewer infrastructure.
After completing a competitive trial program with the goal of reducing water loss through intelligent leak detection technology, Gutermann will double its network of remote, always-on measurements points in Miami-Dade County. It will install these to nearly 40 miles of the water distribution lines throughout the Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department’s service area, allowing the county to improve its capacity to pinpoint water leaks, reducing response time and man-hours for repairs to the system.
Gutermann says more than 100 cities globally and Vancouver and Montreal in North America already use its leak prevention technology. Miami-Dade is the first major US municipality to deploy the full water management system.
“When fully deployed, we have been able to achieve the industry standard goal of less than 10 percent non-revenue water loss, which extends the life of existing infrastructure and turns more of the water produced into revenues,” said Gutermann chairman Uri Gutermann in a statement.
Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department, the largest utility in the southeastern US, operates more than 8,000 miles of water transmission and distribution lines in its system. During the next 15 to 20 years, the department is tasked with implementing a $13.5 billion capital improvement program to upgrade the county’s water and sewer infrastructure. County officials say technology like Gutermann’s where the results are immediate is essential to completing this project.
Working in tandem with Gutermann’s Zonescan Alpha fixed network monitoring system, Miami-Dade County needs to comply with requirements levied by the regulatory entities, keeping its non-revenue water to less than 10 percent. This system uses large numbers of Zonescan sensors (also called “loggers”) that record and transmit data caused by minute vibrations and sounds from leaks in water supply pipes to a cloud-based system.
The data is automatically analyzed, allowing for the quick and accurate identification and location of water leaks, the company says. This minimizes the need to send leakage operators out to the field to verify and pinpoint the leak, and it reduces the otherwise high rates of false alarms and missed leaks that the company says are characteristic of other leak monitoring systems.
Global spending on water technology including smart meters, sensors and software that track and analyze water consumption is expected to grow from $15 billion in 2010 to $25 billion by 2018, according to Global Water Intelligence, a UK research firm.
The US presents an opportunity for smart water technology companies as it struggles with drought in many areas and is faced with mounting costs due to aging infrastructure. The American Society of Civil Engineers says America’s infrastructure will need an estimated $3.6 trillion in total investment by 2020, leaving a funding shortfall of $1.6 trillion. Replacing US water pipes alone would cost at least $1 trillion over the next 25 years, according to the American Water Works Association.
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