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Springfield, MA Engages Echologics To Benchmark Leak Detection Technologies

ATLANTA, June 4, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Springfield Water and Sewer Commission (the "Commission") recently engaged Echologics to benchmark the capabilities of non-invasive acoustic technologies in isolating small leaks on a 59-inch steel water main.

Echologics, an affiliate of Mueller Co., is a developer and provider of acoustic-based technologies for water loss management, leak detection and pipe condition assessment. It is part of the Mueller Water Products, Inc. (NYSE:MWA) group of companies.

As part of its mission to provide an adequate, uninterrupted, high-quality supply of water to its customers, the Commission, which serves more than 250,000 residents of Pioneer Valley and Springfield, Massachusetts, employs a proactive leak detection program for buried water assets.

The Commission used EchoWave™, Echologics' transmission main leak detection solution, in 2010 to verify the presence of leaks on three transmission mains, including on a span of more than 2,000 feet across the Connecticut River. During that project, Echologics identified small joint leaks on a 60" pre-stressed concrete cylinder pipe main, enabling the Commission to repair the leak and avoid a potential catastrophic main break.

Based on this success, the Commission asked Echologics to benchmark the capabilities of different non-invasive acoustic technologies for isolating leaks on transmission mains, since it had found standard commercial leak correlators to be ineffective on large-diameter mains.

The goal of the engagement was to determine the smallest flow rate of a simulated leak that could be accurately located. Three equipment variants were used to perform the testing:
  1. The Commission's current leak noise correlator
  2. Echologics' LeakFinderRT™ correlator, currently marketed and sold directly to water utilities for distribution main leak detection
  3. Echologics' EchoWave solution, using the LeakFinderRT platform but equipped with specialized sensors, signal conditioning units, and advanced software only available through Echologics

At sensor spacings of 500 feet to 1,000 feet, both the EchoWave solution and the LeakFinderRT correlator significantly out-performed the Commission's current leak noise correlator. The EchoWave solution also generated the most optimal results, accurately isolating leaks as small as 2 gpm at the test distance of 500 feet.

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