The City of Fountain Valley, California has selected Echologics to assess the condition of its water distribution mains to help maintain its water infrastructure, prioritize pipe replacement and reduce the amount of treated water lost to leaks.
Echologics will assess the condition of up to 75 miles of pipe over a 5-year period using its condition assessment technology. The mains that will be inspected will be of various diameters and materials, including asbestos cement and mortar-lined pipes.
The majority of Fountain Valley distribution mains were installed in the 1960s and 1970s, and the condition assessment program will be used to develop a pipe replacement program.
“We want to have a plan in place before any issues arise that could disrupt service,” said Mark Sprague, Field Services Manager with the City of Fountain Valley. Sprague added that the non-invasive aspect of the technology was a key factor in deciding to partner with Echologics.
“By not having to introduce anything into the distribution system, we reduce the risk of losing treated water during the assessment process, which is especially beneficial when we are experiencing a drought,” he said.
Echologics’ condition assessment solution is the industry’s first approach that can identify the condition of both distribution and transmission mains, while simultaneously searching for leaks, all without the need for large excavations or service disruptions. This ability enables utilities to address issues or have plans in place before leaks disrupt service.
Acoustic sensors are attached to existing contact points, such as fire hydrants, valves or directly in contact with a pipe. A sound wave is induced in the pipeline and travels along the pipe. The acoustic sensors capture the time it takes the sound wave to travel between two sensor stations and computer algorithms determine a condition grade of good, moderate or poor for the inspected section.
“Fountain Valley is proactively managing its water infrastructure to ensure that its residents continue to have access to safe, clean drinking water,” said Marc Bracken, vice president and general manager of Echologics. “Our condition assessment technology will help them make informed, data-driven decisions about how to prioritize capital spending and improve customer service.”
Echologics is a subsidiary of Mueller Water Products, Inc. (NYSE:MWA).