FCS Saves Macon Water Authority Over 12 Million Gallons of Monthly Water Loss

Leak Detection program eliminates water main breaks

Milford, Ohio (January 27, 2014) – Using Fluid Conservation Systems leak detection equipment, the Macon Water Authority (Macon, Ga.) has taken a proactive approach to eliminating water main breaks and reducing costly leaks. Since beginning the leak detection program in September 2013, the Macon Water Authority has found and repaired more than 50 leaks, eliminating over 12 million gallons of lost water per month.

Macon Water Authority uses leak detection equipment from FCS to find and repair leaking pipes before they burst.

Macon Water Authority uses leak detection equipment from FCS to find and repair leaking pipes before they burst.

The Macon Water Authority is responsible for providing drinking water to the city’s 55,000 metered connections, which serve its population of 120,000. With over 1,400 miles of mains, and some sections over 100 years old, the Macon Water Authority management team was interested in adding a leak detection element to its existing water loss control program. The team consulted with other utilities and vendors to research and compare leak detection programs and equipment. After careful consideration, the water authority contacted Simon Wick at Matchpoint Inc. (Wilmington, N.C.) about purchasing FCS leak detection equipment.

Macon Water Authority purchased 30 Permalog+ leak noise loggers, a Patroller II for mobile data collection, and an X-Mic ground microphone. After receiving product training from Matchpoint, water authority employees began to deploy the Permalog+ loggers throughout the city’s water system. Using the “Lift and Shift” method, employees were able to use the 30 loggers to start their leakage program and the survey of their 1,400 miles of mains.

“We thought there would be more of a learning curve at first, but after our initial logger deployment we immediately began verifying leaks for repair,” said Sewer Conveyance Water Distribution Manager Darryl Macy. “Now we can schedule road closures ahead of time to repair leaking pipes before they break and require emergency shutdowns.”

Permalog+ loggers attach magnetically to pipes and valves. During the nighttime, when ambient noise is lowest, the loggers activate to “listen” for leak noise signatures within the pipeline. Employees then quickly collect the loggers’ data for analysis on drive-by patrols using the Patroller II. Leaks are then pinpointed for repair using the X-Mic ground microphone.

“Before the leak detection program, we couldn’t find and repair leaks until they surfaced,” said Macy. “The FCS equipment found leaks in the older cast-iron sections that were leaking directly into the storm drains and would’ve never surfaced.”

Since it began in September 2013, the Macon Water Authority has expanded its leak detection program. Today, an additional 200 Permalog+ stationary loggers are installed equally across four district metering areas that cover the oldest sections of Macon’s water system. Employees patrol 100 loggers per week to quickly find and repair any leaks. Macon Water Authority also plans to hire two additional leak detection employees to help with its increased monitoring efforts.

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Holly Springs New High Efficiency Leak Detection Program from FCS

“Lift and Shift” method covers 150 miles of mains with only 12 sensors

Milford, Ohio (July 24, 2013) – The Holly Springs Public Works Department (Holly Springs, N.C.) used leak detection equipment from Fluid Conservation Systems to improve the efficiency and response time of its municipal water leak detection program.

 Steve Wenz from the Holly Springs Public Works Department uses FCS leak detection equipment to quickly identify, pinpoint and repair leaks.


Steve Wenz from the Holly Springs Public Works Department uses FCS leak detection equipment to quickly identify, pinpoint and repair leaks.

Holly Springs Public Works is responsible for maintaining 150 miles of mains to service the town’s 11,000 connections. In the spring of 2011, workers began noticing evidence of underground water leaks. With only a ground microphone at their disposal, they were finding it difficult to locate the leaks without extensive exploratory digging and realized the need to upgrade leak detection equipment. The Holly Springs Public Works Department approached Ron Lilley of Carolina Meter (Hampstead, N.C.), who provided a demonstration of Fluid Conservation Systems equipment.

“We purchased the equipment and began using it the following year. We found 12 leaks within the first few months, including hydrants and blow offs that weren’t tightened all the way,” said Holly Springs Public Works Technician, Steve Wenz.

Holly Springs purchased 12 FCS Permalog leak noise sensors, a Tri-Corr leak noise correlator and an X-Mic ground microphone. Permalogs attach magnetically to pipelines and “listen” for leak noise signatures during nighttime hours when ambient noise is at its lowest. The Tri-Corr correlator then analyzes data from the Permalogs to identify and give the approximate location of a leak, which can then be pinpointed using the X-Mic ground microphone.

To maximize efficiency, Holly Springs uses the “Lift and Shift” method where Permalogs are deployed in one area, then data is collected and the sensors are quickly redeployed to another area. This allows the town’s 12 sensors to monitor all 150 miles of mains.

“In one case, we used the FCS equipment to pinpoint a leak that was surfacing in a cul-de-sac over 100 feet downhill from the actual leak,” said Wenz. “Without the equipment, we never would’ve found the leak without a great deal of costly digging.”

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FCS Helps Greenville Water Streamline Leak Detection

New equipment helps eliminate exploratory digging to find leaks

Milford, Ohio (February 20, 2013) – Fluid Conservation Systems (FCS) leak detection equipment has helped Greenville Water (Greenville, S.C.) maintain its tight distribution network and low water rates for customers in a more efficient manner.

Greenville Water has lowered the cost of maintaining its water distribution network with FCS leak detection equipment.

Greenville Water has lowered the cost of maintaining its water distribution network with FCS leak detection equipment.

Greenville Water is responsible for maintaining 2,800 miles of mains to serve 168,000 metered connections in the city of Greenville and surrounding areas with a daily average of 58 million gallons of water. Some sections of the primarily ductile and cast iron distribution network are over 100 years old.

“We’ve always prided ourselves in keeping a tight water network,” says Greenville Water Chief Operations Officer Murray Dodd. “But our leak detection methods were not efficient, and when a leak was discovered it sometimes took a work crew a full day to find and repair the leak.”

Work crews would sometimes have to dig several holes in an attempt to find the exact location of the leak, and Dodd was becoming concerned with the cost associated with excavating and backfilling these “ghost holes.”

After a product demonstration from Carolina Meter and Supply (Hampstead, N.C.), Greenville Water purchased FCS leak detection equipment, including 30 Permalog leak noise loggers, a Patroller II drive-by data collection system, a DigiCALL+ correlator and an X-Mic ground microphone. In 2012, the full-time, two person leak detection team found 57 previously undetected leaks using Permalogs, and assisted in pinpointing over 100 additional running leaks. Dodd estimates that the leaks found and repaired saved 20 million gallons of water in 2012 alone.

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Henry County Establishes Model Leak Detection Program

Program has saved customers close to $1 million in five years

Milford, Ohio (January 10, 2013) – Henry County Water and Sewerage Authority (McDonough, Ga.) has used equipment from Fluid Conservation Systems (FCS) to create an efficient leak detection program. The program has eliminated nearly 400 million gallons of non-revenue water in the last five years.

Henry County employees collect data from Permalogs (left) to be used on its online leak detection map.

Henry County employees collect data from Permalogs (left) to be used on its online leak detection map.

Henry County maintains over 1,400 miles of mains to serve its approximately 54,000 meter connections. Its pipelines are constructed of various materials, mostly ductile iron as well as PVC and cast iron, with the oldest sections dating back to 1970. As part of the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District, Henry County is required to submit annual audits of its water distribution system. After a 2007 audit, Henry County saw rising non-revenue water rates and began investigating leak detection programs used by surrounding counties.

Using an empty subdivision with operational water pipes as a test site, Henry County Lead GIS Field Technician Brock Biles conducted side-by-side comparisons of three different leak detection systems. He found that the FCS products sold by Matchpoint Inc. (Wilmington, N.C.) were the most effective at finding leaks.

“Henry County had the most scientific approach to product selection that I had ever seen,” said Matchpoint Inc. Vice President, Simon Wick.

After extensive product training from Matchpoint, the county deployed its new leak detection program in May 2007 with 80 Permalog+ acoustic loggers and an AC Digital correlator. By the end of the year, the one-man team had located 26 leaks that generated over 20,000,000 gallons of water per year, saving Henry County an estimated $50,426.

Henry County uses the “Lift and Shift” method of deploying Permalog+ noise loggers, which promotes quick and efficient leak detection with a limited number of logging devices. Loggers are distributed to one area of the water distribution network for a short period of time, retrieved and analyzed for potential leak indications, and then rapidly redeployed to other areas of the system. Information collected is then uploaded to an intranet map of the distribution network, allowing the leak detection team to see a history of leak data and logger deployments for each area of the system.

Since its inception, the Henry County leak detection team has grown to three full time and three part time employees, and saved approximately 380 million gallons of water at a cost of over $933,000. It has become a model among its peers, hosting 10 municipalities since 2011 to demonstrate how the program works.

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New Braunfels Utilities Cuts Water Loss by 50 Percent with FCS Leak Detection

Equipment helped department exceed water loss reduction goal

Milford, OH (December 14, 2011) – Texas-based New Braunfels Utilities (NBU) used leak detection equipment from Fluid Conservation Systems (FCS) to build an efficient maintenance program for its distribution network while drastically reducing water loss. The equipment allows NBU to conduct scheduled repairs on its pipelines instead of dealing with leaks on an emergency basis.

NBU workers use an FCS TriCorr Touch correlator to locate leaks and conduct scheduled maintenance.

NBU workers use an FCS TriCorr Touch correlator to locate leaks and conduct scheduled maintenance.

The NBU leak detection and valve maintenance program was established in 2009 to reduce water loss and increase system and valve reliability for NBU’s 456 miles of pipeline and 24,000 customer connections. At the end of the first year of the program, NBU calculated its average water loss at 2,000 gallons/ mile/ day.

Recognizing the need for improvement, NBU purchased FCS leak detection equipment including Xmic ground microphones, a SoundSens “i” correlating noise logger, a TriCorr Touch correlator and Permalog acoustic leak noise data loggers. The team began using the equipment to perform preventive maintenance on 750 valves per year and proactively scan the city for non-surfacing leaks. Two years later, NBU estimates its average water loss at 961 gallons/ mile/ day, less than half the loss rate during the program’s first year.

“Everyone knows that water is a precious resource and its preservation requires a ton of attention,” said NBU Operations and Maintenance Division Manager, Trino Pedraza. “We tested many products in the field and found FCS to have the highest level of reliability.”

FCS Permalog data loggers attach magnetically to pipelines and use advanced algorithms to discern the acoustic signature of leaks from background noise. SoundSens “i” and TriCorr correlators analyze data from acoustic sensors to approximate a leak’s location. The FCS Xmic electronic ground microphone amplifies noise generated by water escaping from buried supply lines under pressure, allowing users to pinpoint a leak’s location.

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FCS Helps Town of Mooresville, N.C. Improve Response to Water Leaks

Equipment finds leaks before digging to minimize repair costs and road closures

Milford, OH (June 27, 2011) – Water leak detection specialist Fluid Conservation Systems (FCS) helped the town of Mooresville N.C. save money and resources while keeping in compliance with state regulations.  With FCS leak detection equipment, Mooresville can now identify and repair leaks in its water distribution network as they occur.

The Mooresville Public Services Department installed FCS equipment allowing leaks to be found and repaired as they happen.

The Mooresville Public Services Department installed FCS equipment allowing leaks to be found and repaired as they happen.

Mooresville is a town of 33,000 people that provides an average daily flow of 3.24 million gallons of water to 13,000 homes and businesses.  In the summer of 2008, officials at Mooresville Public Services Department were experiencing a 10% non-metered water rate in their 240 miles of water mains.  Underground water leaks were causing damage to roadways, and the extensive digging required to find and repair these leaks was expensive and caused heavy traffic congestion.  With the passage of North Carolina House Bill 2499 requiring public water services to develop and implement water conservation measures, as well as new industry moving into town that would drastically increase water usage, officials knew it was time to upgrade their water distribution network maintenance program.

After evaluating competing products, Mooresville officials decided that acoustic leak detection equipment from FCS most closely met with their operational and budget requirements.  “The FCS equipment was compatible with our record keeping system and simple enough so that the guys in the field could use it and feel confident that they were collecting accurate results,” said Mooresville Public Services Director, John Vest.

Vest contacted local distributor Carolina Meter & Supply (Hampstead, N.C.) and purchased Permalog leak noise loggers, L-Mic and X-Mic ground microphones, an AC Digital leak noise correlator, and a Patroller II system to allow leak data to be collected from a moving patrol vehicle.  The equipment was fully installed and in use by the fall of 2009.

In April of 2010, Mooresville Public Services staff had located and repaired 24 leaks, saving an estimated total of $80,000 annually.  Workers were pinpointing leaks accurately, allowing preventative maintenance work to be scheduled with advance public notification to avoid traffic congestion.  “The FCS equipment has really enhanced our planning capabilities.  We’re finding leaks before they become a problem,” said Field Operations Supervisor, WD Bumgarner.

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PermaNet Ends Water Leaks Without Site Visits or Drive-By Patrols

Permanent network delivers regular leak detection reports to office desktop PC

Milford, OH (February 10, 2010) – Fluid Conservation Systems (FCS) reduces water lost from leaks while saving time, money and labor with the PermaNet wireless network.  The network allows immediate responses when leaks are detected, while eliminating the need for municipal water utility maintenance crews to perform site visits and drive-by patrols. 

The PermaNet wireless network from FCS saves water, labor and money.

The PermaNet wireless network from FCS saves water, labor and money.

PermaNet works with FCS Permalog leak noise loggers; wireless devices that attach magnetically to pipes and “listen” for noises caused by water leakage.  With the PermaNet network, leak reports generated by Permalogs can be sent directly to a customer’s PC or mobile phone.  Customers can choose to receive monthly, weekly or daily updates.  The system can also be configured to send a leak alert whenever a logger detects a potential leak, enabling a rapid response and minimizing water loss.

PermaNet uses either radio signals or SMS telemetry to transmit reports.  The radio version collects data automatically with radio boosters mounted above ground, which then retransmit to the control data hub.  SMS versions receive signals from Permalogs with a built in radio receiver, and then transmit the information to the monitoring station via SMS.

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FCS Permalog Leak Detectors Reduce Birmingham’s Non-Revenue Water

Non-revenue water down by 55% over two years with leak noise loggers

Milford, OH (November 5, 2009) – Using Permalog leak noise loggers from Fluid Conservation Systems, the Birmingham Water Works Board (BWWB) reduced non-revenue water (NRW) for the city of Birmingham, Alabama by 55% over the last two years.

BWWB officials used the FCS Permalog to reduce non-revenue water.

BWWB officials used the FCS Permalog to reduce non-revenue water.

According to BWWB officials, NRW is a combination of real and apparent water loss. Real water loss is the physical loss of water resulting from leaks in the system. With the help of Permalogs, BWWB reduced real water loss to 5.36 percent. Apparent water loss includes meter inaccuracies, unauthorized consumption and authorized unmetered consumption such as fire fighting, fire service line testing, water quality flushing and street cleaning.

“The utility now has 4,200 Permalog units installed,” says BWWB Revenue Water Department Manager Geoff Goodwin. “Between 2004 and 2008, the devices located more than 700 leaks.”

In addition to using Permalogs, the BWWB employed district metering, pressure management, increased meter accuracy, and new American Water Works Association and International Water Association methodologies to reduce NRW.

About BWWB
The BWWB (www.birminghamwaterworks.com) was founded in 1951 and serves 600,000 people in Jefferson, Shelby, Blount, St. Clair and Walker counties.

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