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Case Study: City of Elmhurst saves $1,400,000 with automatic leak detection


Illinois city reduces unmetered, non-revenue water by 5%

ST. LOUISJan. 30, 2024 /7Newswire — Non-revenue water (NRW) loss is a major problem in the U.S, and a new case study from Aclara, part of Hubbell Incorporated, describes how the City of ElmhurstIllinois is using advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) and acoustic leak detection to solve its NRW challenges.

The case study describes how implementing the Aclara RF™ AMI network with its correlated acoustic leak-detection solution allowed Elmhurst to reduce NRW losses from its distribution network as well as from metering inaccuracies.

It details how the city lowered NRW losses from its distribution system by 292 million gallons a year, saving $1,400,000 in water costs, by employing acoustic leak-detection operating on its AMI network. The city also cut NRW losses from unmetered water by replacing mechanical meters with more accurate ultrasonic ones during its AMI deployment.

“Today, we’re finding 30% of our water main breaks before they surface,” said Paul Burris, utility operations manager for Elmhurst. “We identify leaks with acoustic leak detection with a probability of 90% to 100%, so our confidence has grown that we’ll uncover a leak identified in the system when we dig at a specific location. The system also helps us to find leaks on services as well.”

Implementing an AMI network also allows the stately suburb west of Chicago to provide its 46,000 residents with access to data it collects from meters, allowing them to monitor usage and identify leaks in their homes.

“It’s been a huge benefit to the city to be able to get customers reliable data on a regular basis. Now residents are getting leak alerts when their toilets are running, or their garden hoses are left on by the kids. It’s saving them hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars a year in water costs,” said Burris.

Elmhurst has won several awards for its leak detection and AMI projects. These include the Chicago Chapter of the American Public Works Association (APWA) 2020 Technical Innovation Award for the development, management and implementation of a creative idea, program, process, or system that enhances the delivery of public works services to the public. In addition, the City received the American Water Works Association Utility Water Saver Award (Illinois Section) for 2020, and the DuPage, Illinois Mayor and Managers Conference (34 communities represented) also recognized the City of Elmhurst for the most innovative technology use in 2019.

About Hubbell
Hubbell Incorporated is a leading manufacturer of utility and electrical solutions enabling customers to operate critical infrastructure safely, reliably, and efficiently. With 2022 revenues of $4.9 billion, Hubbell solutions energize and electrify communities in front of and behind the meter. The company operates in two segments, Hubbell Utility Solutions (HUS) and Hubbell Electrical Solutions (HES).

HUS provides the critical solutions and components that enable utilities to reliably transmit and distribute electricity, water, and gas, as well as communications and control technologies to advance the function and value of their network.

About Aclara

As part of the Hubbell Utilities Solutions segment, Aclara is a world-class supplier of smart infrastructure solutions (SIS) and services to more than 1,000 water, gas, and electric utilities globally. Aclara SIS offerings include smart meters and other field devices, advanced metering infrastructure, and software and services that enable utilities to predict and respond to conditions, leverage their distribution networks effectively, and engage with their customers. Visit us at Aclara.com or follow us LinkedIn.