PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla., Nov. 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Leaking fire hydrants can be a significant source of water loss for any municipality, and the importance of identifying these losses increases during drought conditions. "Water leaks are hard for most people to visualize in terms of how much waste actually occurs," said Mark Voigtsberger, President of UTGIS. "One drop per minute, if left unattended, is leaking 51 gallons over the course of a year." Most leaks are significantly larger than just one drop a minute. A water leak dripping once every second is about 3,200 gallons per year- more than enough to fill a 12 foot diameter above ground swimming pool. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates the average water loss in a utility system is 16%....a number that could easily represent hundreds of thousands or millions of gallons daily. Hydrant leaks often go undetected because the leak cycle is fully contained within the barrel and the bury of the hydrant, and generally is not visible externally. That is, the leak occurs inside at the main hydrant valve, but the water is then is dissipated underground into the soil by the hydrant's internal drain valve. The EPA also estimates up to 75% of all water losses could be recovered using effective water management and inspection programs. UTGIS fire hydrant leak inspections use a multi-step process to help municipalities and water utilities identify these unseen sources of water loss. Ideally, a municipality or water utility would perform routine system-wide leak detection audits. The hydrant leak inspection program offers a cost effective solution to help identify recoverable water losses if system-wide audits cannot be performed.