August 2019 Print Issue Condition Assessment Echologics Leak Detection New Jersey New Jersey American Water Pipe Inspection/Evaluation tech United States Water

New Jersey American Water’s Effective Leak Monitoring Program

New Jersey water project

Infrastructure continues to be a essential challenge impacting the U.S. financial system, society, security and future on both an area and nationwide degree. In the state of New Jersey, the state of affairs is not any totally different.

New Jersey American Water is the most important water service provider in the state and estimates it serves one out of every three individuals.

Recognizing the toll that ageing infrastructure is taking over its techniques, New Jersey American Water invests roughly $350 million annually to enhance service reliability, water quality and flows for hearth safety.

“At New Jersey American Water, our aim is to offer protected, reliable water service to all of our clients,” says Deborah Degillio, president of New Jersey American Water. “From supply to tap, our staff of execs constantly screens and works onerous to take care of our amenities to make sure they function effectively, meet all regulatory standards and deliver the highest quality water. Investment now helps maintain our present operations while making certain resiliency for the longer term – all for the good thing about our clients.”

NJ American Water Service Area & Belongings

New Jersey American Water’s group of specialists constantly screens, maintains and upgrades amenities to ensure that they operate efficiently and meet all regulatory standards. In 2018 alone, the utility invested greater than $330 million on system upgrades and improvement tasks. Of that, more than $102 million was spent to rehabilitate or exchange greater than 67 miles of water mains.

Additionally, the utility invested greater than $2 million in leak detection gear in 2018 to additional improve its potential to answer leaks and breaks. The investor-owned utility additionally changed 1,029 hearth hydrants and 1,475 valves throughout the state, an roughly $13 million investment; changed 11,600 providers strains, an investment totaling approximately $15.2 million; and rehabilitated six water tanks, an funding totaling roughly $4 million.

The utility serves 18 counties and more than 631,000 residential, business and industrial consuming water clients, and a further 46,000 wastewater clients. It also maintains several remedy amenities: seven surface water remedy crops with a combined capability of 350 million gallons of water a day (MGD); 247 wells with a combined capacity of 110 MGD; and 20 sewer remedy crops with a combined capability of seven.2 MGD. In 2018, greater than $100 million went toward improvements to water remedy amenities.

Leak Detection & Restore Prioritization

While the utility’s giant annual investments embrace enhancements to water crops and tanks, a significant portion of the investment goes toward upgrading underground water mains, of which it has greater than eight,500 miles.

Even the smallest leak in a consuming water system may cause the loss of hundreds of gallons of water every month. To seek out and handle leaks shortly and effectively, New Jersey American Water depends on revolutionary leak detection know-how to reinforce its monitoring and early detection efforts.

Utility engineers use a classy pc model that first assesses after which fairly “ranks” mains based mostly on greater than a dozen variables with a view to help them prioritize rehabilitation or alternative selections. The utility’s geographic info system (GIS) group regularly performs this evaluation on all water mains, and, in flip, offers New Jersey American Water’s engineers and operators with interactive maps out there within a web-based venture planning software.

Since 2016, New Jersey American Water’s operations and engineering teams have used EchoShore-DX, an acoustic monitoring know-how from Echologics, a Mueller Technologies firm, to help discover and fix leaks earlier than they lead to major breaks, prioritize repairs and, finally, scale back water loss. The acoustic know-how can be utilized in the area in a non-invasive means, helping utility employees find leaks with great accuracy with out having to unearth the ground or insert tools into the water system.

“One of the challenges we face is tips on how to scale back non-revenue water, which is water that has been treated however is lost within the distribution system earlier than reaching its meant vacation spot,” says Don Shields, vice chairman and director of engineering for New Jersey American Water. “With Echologics’ know-how, we’ve been capable of scale back the amount of non-revenue water by detecting lively leaks and prioritizing repairs earlier than they turned vital points, making certain that we are capable of meet our commitments to our clients.”

Echologics’ leak detection know-how incorporates using acoustic screens, that are put in on hearth hydrants all through the system. The sensors then report knowledge, including all through the night time, whereas listening for sounds of potential leaks. That knowledge is then uploaded to a cloud-based consumer interface the place it can be analyzed by utility employees to determine factors of curiosity.

“Via monitoring that knowledge, we will probably determine constant sounds that might be a leak after which examine,” says Ron Oppenheimer, undertaking supervisor for water loss administration at New Jersey American Water. “I’m in search of consistency of a sound or abnormality within the system that could possibly be an indication of a focal point or a possible leak in the area. The great thing about this know-how is that it truly offers a location or some extent to start out an investigation.

“Simply in 2018, we’ve situated over 128 leaks with an estimated movement of two,341 GPM, nearly all of which weren’t surfacing and would in all probability nonetheless be operating had they not been situated,” Oppenheimer adds.

Program Implementation & Outcomes

Initially, New Jersey American Water selected five specific water networks – Belvidere, Irvington, New Egypt, Washington and Frenchtown – throughout the state to check and implement the Echologics know-how. The choice of these networks was based mostly on environmental, financial and social challenge drivers. Set up of the leak detection know-how was completed in March 2016.

Since implementation, New Jersey American Water has gathered two years of knowledge to research the effectiveness, efficiency and savings the Echologics know-how has delivered to general operations. Listed here are a few of the results:

  • Within the first 18 months of implementation, Echologics’ EchoShore-DX know-how enabled New Jersey American Water to determine and restore 118 lively leaks.
  • OPEX financial savings of up to $1.9 million within the first two years of utilizing this know-how.
  • Average water loss proportion is right down to 17 % – in comparison with statewide averages of 25-30 %.
  • It’s estimated that 1.7 million gallons of water is saved per day from utilization of the leak detection know-how.
  • Fixing leaks detected by our monitoring system has saved greater than 1.1 billion gallons of water from being handled, pumped and then leaked out into the surroundings.
  • The amount of leakage recognized (and subsequently repaired) by New Jersey American Water’s monitoring system might serve a small group of 30,427 individuals for a yr (based mostly on a typical American Water consumption fee of 100 gallons per day, per individual).
  • Based mostly on the typical embedded carbon dioxide greenhouse gases for electrical era in New Jersey, New Jersey American Water’s leakage discount also decreased greenhouse fuel emissions by 900,055 kg of carbon dioxide – that’s equivalent of taking 170 automobiles off the street for a yr.
  • An estimated 3,307,989 kWh of electrical power has been saved by detecting the leaks early and avoiding pumping and treating 1.1 billion gallons of leaked water. (Racoviceanu, 2007).

First Locate, Then Repair or Substitute

Once a leak is detected, New Jersey American Water will both repair or substitute water pipelines which have reached the top of their helpful life.

In accordance with Russell Titus, senior superintendent at New Jersey American Water, prior to beginning the program utilizing EchoShore-DX, the utility had performed conventional leak detection, going point-to-point, listening for leaks on providers, hydrants and valves. The extra labor-intensive strategy required, on common, two to 3 years to perform leak detection on your complete system. Now with its new strategic strategy of deploying the acoustic sensors all through the system, the utility can prioritize areas where there’s a excessive incidence of primary breaks and areas where pipe has traditionally been weakest. Titus says the program has allowed New Jersey American water to scale back the impression to clients and fix leaks on a more scheduled foundation.

“Also, we’re capable of scale back our manufacturing of potable water,” he says. “Proper now, we are saving, in manufacturing terms, roughly 2 million gallons a day. We are capable of decrease our system supply as a result of we have now much less leakage in our system.”

Titus adds that the subsequent step is to broaden this system and to proceed to determine other areas across the State of New Jersey the place the strategy may even be useful to clients.

In 2018, New Jersey American Water was acknowledged by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) as certainly one of its recipients of the annual Governor’s Environmental Excellence Awards, which recognize people, organizations and corporations main outstanding environmental initiatives, packages and tasks across the state. New Jersey American Water was named an award recipient within the class of progressive know-how – recognizing the company’s efforts in creating viable, progressive options for controlling water loss.

“Our leak detection efforts are a big part of the work we do guarantee conservation and the environment friendly use of our most valuable resource for our 2.7 million clients. Our groups – from water quality to plant operations and distribution professionals – are always working to seek out artistic methods to make the most of know-how with a purpose to provide quality service for our clients whereas maintaining prices low,” says Degillio.

“As a direct results of working in partnership with our leak management know-how supplier, we’ve got not solely created options to scale back water loss for these in New Jersey, but may also serve as a model to different water suppliers throughout the nation.”

This text originally appeared in Water Finance & Management, a sister publication to Trenchless Know-how. It was compiled by the Water Finance & Administration employees and consists of info from a case research from New Jersey American Water on its leak administration program.