Privately owned and over 200 years old, the Belle Vernon Municipal Authority serves a population of just over 6,000 residents. It encompasses the Pennsylvania regions of Belle Vernon, North Belle Vernon, and parts of Rostraver and Washington townships. The water plant was decommissioned, and Belle Vernon Municipal Authority began purchasing water from another municipal authority in September of 2016. The Belle Vernon Municipal Authority services an infrastructure comprised of steel, cast iron and plastic with portions dating over 100 years old. Given the aging infrastructure, it is not surprising it was faced with non-revenue water loss as high as 50% with flows as high as 0.700 mgd. The water bills coming from the authority it was purchasing its water from were as high as $65,000 per month.
With the help of 540 Technologies, Belle Vernon Municipal Authority decided to address its non-revenue water loss through leak detection and invested in two key leak detection devices from Fluid Conservation Systems. Superintendent Guy Kruppa and Leak Detection Lead Foreman Rich Saxberg started with 55 Permalog+ units to cover the majority of the service area. When paired with the FCS Patroller device, these easily deployable, acoustic logger units continuously monitor leakage and transmit an “alarm” when a potential leak is located. In February of 2020, they added to their inventory by also purchasing the TriCorr Touch Pro, an easy-to-use, robust correlator designed to provide the best performance in traditionally difficult leak detection conditions such as plastic or large-diameter pipes.
Result: By utilizing these devices, Belle Vernon has decreased its non-revenue water loss to 13%, which saved it over $36,000 by the end of 2020’s fourth quarter. Its daily flows are now averaging .326 to .360 mgd and its water bills are now averaging $22,000 a month. Following its AWWA Water Audit, the authority is focused on apparent losses, replacing old meters and mapping the assets in the water system through GIS.
*Case study was published in the Summer 2021 issue of I&I.