Are there any GIS or remote sensing tools for homing in on water system problems and identifying the areas where you need to do the work?
There’s certain GIS tools that can be used if you have already, say a GIS map of your system. One thing you can use is GPS. And take a GPS reading of each location of your breaks.
Or if you don’t have the GPS’s very specific location, you can work with the GIS team and say, way with that 351 North Elm Street and they can make a pretty good estimate of where that break occurred and put the break on the main at that location.
So you can certainly use GIS tools.
We’ve done quite a bit of work on that area with some of our utilities. The bigger utilities that have a GIS mapping system we are getting them to start plotting the break locations.
So when you pull the map off you can see points on the map, dots or crosses, x’s or whatever you want to put on the map that shows the leak locations.
That technology works very well to give you the visual view. And you can even have a database behind it where you click on that particular break, it brings up what size of pipe, what was the condition of the pipe, what was the nature of the break, the cause of the break. You can get that information even behind the GIS system.
As far as remote sensing, I’m not sure, have you seen anything like that. I’ve seen people use that to locate pipe more so than you know leak location.
Yes, you’ve got systematic or area-wide leak detection programs that you can have underway. The thing to watch out for them is, again, depending on the pipe material type, they can be very accurate in locating the leak position.
Some of the plastics I think are more problematic because they don’t give us as clean as the sound that you do out of metal pipes.
So it’s just again being aware of the limitations of the current technology and narrowing things down as much as you can with the materials that you’re working with.
PHOTO CREDIT: Uwe Hermann via Flickr Creative Commons License.