As part of its overall Capital Improvement Plan, the City of Flint Department of Public Works has implemented leak detection work on the City’s water system. Leak detection will be undertaken by Echologics, the vendor awarded the contract, who will be seen around the City in trucks marked with their company logo. The vendor has hired two individuals from the area to work on the two teams they have working in the field. It is expected that these teams will complete leak detection work on a combined fifteen miles of the water system per day.
The leak detection system uses acoustic wave analysis, which measures sound waves travelling through the pipe to find places where water is escaping. The analysis provided by the leak detection will be reported immediately to the Water Service Center in order to help develop a repair plan as determination of the scope of underground disrepair is made.
“The leak detection in conjunction with both the valve exercising that has occurred and the meter replacement that’s underway will vastly improve our ability to assess the underground condition of the system,” said Howard Croft, Flint DPW Director, “accomplishing these initiatives will result in more accuracy in billing of water usage, helping to identify where water loss is happening and where to deploy our resources to make repairs to the system.” The work is expected to take 10-14 weeks to complete.
The leak detection system will compliment other components of the Capital Improvement Plan, such as the water meter replacement program, the water valve exercises and necessary repairs. The work is being funded by a Distressed City grant in the amount of $900,000 awarded to the City of Flint in February of this year. A second Distressed Cities grant in the amount of $1.1 million was announced at the same time for the Water Pollution Control. That grant was awarded to facilitate the shutdown of the current Water Pollution Control Facility incinerator and replace it with new facilities which will allow for the disposal of waste in landfills. The Capital Improvement Plan can be found here. A video of how the leak detection system works in detail can be found on Youtube.