It’s a scenario that is becoming more and more common.
A water main breaks. A boil advisory is issued. Residents and businesses are disrupted. A costly repair is made.
Rinse and – wait, what? Another boil advisory?
While no official data exists to provide the exact number of boil advisories issued annually in the United States, we do know that approximately 240,000 water main breaks occur across the country every year. A broken water main can lead to a service disruption for countless residents and businesses, illnesses born from bacteria invading the drinking water supply, and expensive repairs that keep the utility offline for months.
Most of these disasters can be avoided.
GPRS offers a variety of leak detection services that businesses and municipalities can use to routinely inspect their water lines and detect any potentially catastrophic structural deficiencies before a disaster can occur. Keep reading to learn more about these services and what they can do for you.
The failing health of the country’s outdated waterworks is not a new problem. A Scientific American article penned back in 2016 noted that most of the water mains in the United States need to be upgraded or replaced after decades of exposure to corrosive soil has left them pitted or otherwise structurally compromised.
This is not just a concern in some regions; there have been numerous, high-profile instances of water system failures across the U.S. in just the latter half of 2022.
In August, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency for four counties in the southeast portion of the state due to a water main break near the Great Lakes Water Authority’s (GLWA) Lake Huron Water Treatment facility. The leak in question occurred on a 120-inch water transmission main that distributes finished drinking water to roughly 950,000 residents in Michigan.
An elementary school in Montpelier, Vermont, closed for over a month to make way for a $200,000 emergency repair project on a water pipe under the street leading to the school. The pipe ruptured five times in 2022 alone. Montpelier has for years dealt with repeated water main breaks, with VTDigger.org reporting that, from 2016 through 2021, officials in Vermont’s capital issued roughly 60 boil water notices to different segments of the city. Repeat problems like these lead to a lack of trust in the safety of a municipality’s entire drinking water supply system.
A broken water main in North Toledo that occurred the Monday after Thanksgiving flooded dozens of cars, homes, and streets, with the surge of water leaving an 8-foot-deep sinkhole in the middle of an intersection. A woman and her children had to be rescued after she inadvertently drove their SUV into the hole and got stuck.
The federal government has taken steps to try to address America’s aging infrastructure. In November of 2021, President Biden signed into law a $1 trillion infrastructure bill that included funding to address failing water systems. As of November 2022, the bill had resulted in $185 billion in funding for over 6,900 projects in over 4,000 communities across all 50 states, D.C., and the U.S. territories.
The Environmental Protection Agency granted over $9 billion in funds for fiscal years 2022 and 2023 to states, tribes, and territories specifically to upgrade their water infrastructure, sewerage systems, pipes and service lines, and more through the agency’s State Revolving Fund (SRF) programs.
While the goal of upgraded, reliable waterworks for all Americans is certainly worth pursuing, it will be years before most of the country’s water mains are addressed. When the work does begin, municipalities and businesses need to know which parts of the system to address first. That’s where GPRS comes in.
Our Video Pipe Inspection Service (CCTV) utilizes industry-leading video cameras to conduct a thorough, yet non-destructive assessment of underground water and sewer lines. Water main break repairs need to happen quickly and efficiently, and that starts with diagnosing the location and severity of the problem. Using VPI, GPRS’ elite team of NASSCO-certified Project Managers can locate clogs, investigate cross bores, and discover structural faults and damage
Routine water loss inspections are another way GPRS can detect leaks in your water system. Our elite VPI Project Managers utilize several sophisticated methods of leak detection, including highly sensitive ground microphones to listen for leaks coming from subsurface pipes, and Leak Detection Correlators (also called leak noise correlators), which take data measurements from sensors placed on both sides of the pipe to identify and map suspected leaks.
Whichever state-of-the-art technology GPRS’ VPI Project Managers use to locate your leak, you are provided with daily reports and a comprehensive summary of the job completed and the number, type, and severity of any problems found. What’s under the surface matters, and GPRS is committed to preventing all kinds of subsurface damage. It’s why we’re not satisfied with our current accuracy rate of 99.8%; we’re aiming for perfection. All GPRS VPI Project Managers are certified by the National Association of Sewer Service Companies (NASSCO), which sets industry standards for assessing, maintaining, and rehabilitating underground infrastructure. GPRS Project Managers provide every client NASSCO reports for our pipe inspections.
The preventative services offered by GPRS can detect a leak before it turns into a flood. We go above and beyond to make sure you know exactly what is happening underground to eliminate unwanted surprises such as water main breaks that can cost your municipality or business thousands of dollars. We help you Visualize The Built WorldTM to keep people safe, avert disruptions in utility services to residents and businesses, and help to keep fresh, clean water flowing through our nation’s water lines.
What can we help you visualize?