US smart metrology company Mueller Systems has secured a deal with West Virginia American Water for a suite of technology products aimed at reducing leaks at the utility's distribution mains.
The contract will see the water company using Mi.Echo system, which uses acoustic-based technologies for leak detection, pipe condition assessment and water loss management, and Mi.Net, Mueller Systems' fixed, two-way advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) network.
West Virginia American Water will deploy the Mi.Echo system along a 10-mile stretch of West Virginia's Kanawha Valley River, including Charleston, Kanawha City, South Charleston and Dunbar, making the project is the largest application of the Mi.Echo technology in North America to date, Mueller Systems claims.
Speaking about the benefits of Mi.Echo, Hassan Ali, vice president and general manager of Mueller Systems, said: "By integrating technology into water infrastructure, West Virginia American Water is gaining greater access to data and the ability to integrate leak detection into their metering program, both of which can help them manage their assets more efficiently and improve customer service."
Acoustic-based leak detection
The AMI solution incorporates components of the LeakFinderRT platform, an acoustic-based system developed by Echologics, an affiliate of Mueller, which can be used in the field to non-invasively locate distribution main leaks without breaking ground or inserting tools into the water system.
Commenting on the deployment, Jeff McIntyre, president of West Virginia American Water, said: "With the Mi.Echo system, we will be able to continuously monitor for leaks in a non-invasive manner to ensure that treated water reaches its intended destination and is not lost.
"Additionally, this technology will give us the opportunity to detect leaks and address repairs before they become significant issues, which could lower production costs and reduce potential disruption for our communities."
West Virginia American Water, a subsidiary of American Water, is the largest water utility in the state, serving 550,000 people.