GPRS Leak Detection Mitigates Non-Revenue Water Loss

Rapid Response Helps HOA Losing 23 Gallons Per Minute

GPRS Leak Detection Mitigates Non-Revenue Water Loss

Rapid Response Helps HOA Losing 23 Gallons Per Minute

A community in California was losing over 20 gallons of drinking water per minute when they called GPRS to provide pinpoint leak detection services.

GPRS Project Manager Rolando Medina was called out to San Pedro, California, where a homeowners’ association needed to locate a known leak in their water system. The HOA was losing 23 gallons of what’s known as non-revenue water (NRW) per minute.

A leaking water pipe in a hole.
GPRS Leak Detection Services located this leaking pipe in a California community.

Non-revenue water is water that does not reach the end user, most likely due to leaks, water main breaks, and other defects in the water system.

Non-revenue water loss doesn’t just affect your water bill; leaking pipes can damage surrounding infrastructure, leading to sinkholes and other dangerous situations. That’s why the HOA in San Pedro was eager to locate the leak in their system so they could repair it as quickly as possible.

Fortunately, GPRS’ leak detection services can provide a rapid response to quickly pinpoint known leaks, or proactively search for leaks along domestic water or fire systems. Through our leak detection process, Medina was able to find the source of the leak in San Pedro.

Utility markings on a wet road.
After he'd located a leak in this community's drinking water system, GPRS Project Manager Ronaldo Medina located all buried utilities around the leaking pipe so excavation and repair could be completed safely.

“We verified the leak was on the domestic water line,” he said. “Then we located the water line... After we confirmed the location of the leak, we marked other utilities such as gas, electrical, and the fire suppression system as a safe practice before excavation for the repair began.”

Medina used ground penetrating radar (GPR) and an electromagnetic (EM) locator to locate the utilities around the leaking water line, ensuring our client could safely excavate and repair the damaged pipe.

“The client appreciated our fast response,” Medina said. “We were able to investigate the leak the day after they called us.”

How GPRS Locates Leaks

Our Project Managers specialize in all types of leak detection, including municipal, industrial, and residential. Using commercial acoustic leak detectors in combination with leak detection correlators, we eliminate the need for exploratory digging to find leaks, saving you money and time and causing minimal surface disruption.

Acoustic leak detection involves using sophisticated ground microphones to listen for leaks coming from subsurface pipes. Leak detection specialists like GPRS’ Project Managers are trained to home in on leaking pipes’ specific sounds and frequencies.

Leak detectors, or leak noise correlators are specialized electronic devices that leak detection service companies use to locate leaks in water lines and water pipes quickly and accurately. They work similarly to acoustic leak detectors but use a computer to detect the vibrations rather than relying on a human’s ears. Sensors are placed on both sides of the pipe being inspected. The sensors emit radio waves back and forth between each other, and an automated process then identifies each suspected leak location based on the information collected through this process and displays it on the main control unit. The processing unit then compares this data with mathematical algorithms designed for the specific noise profiles of the pipe material being tested, determining the leak’s precise location.

The primary purpose of leak correlators is to detect leaks. Properly trained leak detection specialists use leak correlators and acoustic leak detection equipment to accurately pinpoint the location of a detected leak.

A GPRS Project Manager uses a leak noise correlator on a fire hydrant.
GPRS Project Managers use leak correlators in conjunction with acoustic leak detection to find leaks in domestic water and fire suppression systems.

Why You Need Routine Water Loss Inspections

There is a water main break every two minutes somewhere in the U.S., according to the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). An estimated 6 billion gallons of treated water are lost each day to defects in our country’s water infrastructure – enough water to fill over 9,000 swimming pools.

Given these stats, it’s no wonder that the ASCE gave America’s drinking water infrastructure a C- in their most recent Infrastructure Report Card.

The best way to mitigate non-revenue water loss is to hire a professional leak detection company to perform routine water loss surveys on your system.

GPRS leak detection services offer a non-destructive way of uncovering the factors that cause leaks in underground water systems, including areas of corrosion, high system pressure, damage caused from construction, improper installation, failing or damaged joints, and more.

We recommend that you have your water system inspected annually by professional leak detection specialists. Routine water loss surveys mitigate non-revenue water loss, reduce property damage and eliminate water pollution caused by leaking water systems. Don’t wait until you have a problem to seek a solution; ensure your water stays where it belongs, and your infrastructure continues to work for you.

From skyscrapers to sewer lines, GPRS Intelligently Visualizes The Built World® to keep your projects on time, your budget intact, and your people safe.

What can we help you visualize? Click the links below to schedule a service or request a quote today!

Frequently Asked Questions

How many miles of pipe can GPRS inspect in one day?

Our Project Managers can test up to 10 miles of pipe a day on a metallic system (cast iron/ductile).

Why does GPRS typically inspect water systems in the early hours of the morning, or late at night?

Our acoustic listening equipment is highly sensitive and amplifies leaks and other noises which mask leak signals during the day. If we work in city environments, there is often a significant amount of ambient noise. This noise includes airplanes, traffic, mowers, machinery, and most importantly, people using water. It is up to the Project Manager to determine if night work should be utilized to minimize all other noise to focus on the leak signal.

Can you tell me how big the leak is that you’ve detected?

We determine the size of the leak based on how far the leak signal travels between contact points and the pitch of the tone received. We do not, however, produce formal leak estimations.

Why don’t I see any water at the location you’ve pinpointed as the leak?

Water finds the path of least resistance. Water can run through cracks in subsurface rock or make its way into storm, sanitary, and conduit piping. If the subsurface contains a high volume of sand, it will naturally flow farther down. There is no water visible on the surface in more than 99% of the leaks we locate.