SAMCO Leak Detection Identifies 51 leaks for the City of Splendora, TX, Reducing the city’s Water Loss by 10 to 15%
In the fall of 2021, the City of Splendora, Texas Utility Department was struggling with their unaccounted for water loss of 30% (on average), an amount that put a significant strain on their revenues. Unsuccessful attempts to drive down their losses by following their usual course of looking for dead meters and leaks led the city to look for specialized help to address the problem. Enter SAMCO Leak Detection.
The city produced on average 700,000 gallons per day, losing up to 210,000 gallons of that water each day. Production fees of $2.88/1k gallons to the San Jacinto River Authority meant the cost for their losses was often in excess of $600 per day ($220k yearly).
SAMCO tackled Splendora’s water system in two phases. From late August through September, SAMCO surveyed with real-time correlators and ground microphones, identifying and marking a total of 50 leaks (16 main line leaks, 23 service line leaks, 2 fire hydrant leaks, 3 meter leaks, 1 inoperable meter, 1 manual read meter, and 4 customer side leaks). Repair teams followed SAMCO throughout the process, fixing the vast majority of the leaks as quickly as possible after they were located and marked (see report excerpt below).
Following SAMCO’s survey and leaks being repaired, Splendora reported a 15% water loss for the month of October, a 17% drop in non-revenue water from September and a 15% drop from the city’s average water loss.
The 51st Leak: Massive 40k gal/m Main Line Leak Correlated and Repaired, Saving 57k gal/day, or $165 daily
In mid October, weeks after SAMCO’s survey, a city school reported water in a nearby drainage ditch, despite a lack of rain. SAMCO was called out to investigate the suspected leak, which was thought to have been present for no longer than a week and a half.
Using the high-powered AQUASCAN TM2 Correlator with hydrophones, SAMCO pinpointed the location of the leak underneath the school’s parking lot. Based on the correlation report, the excavation crew was able to dig and locate the source of the leak, a roughly 0.5 inch pinhole (see reports below).
LEAK NAME: 10/19 Call out Tap to Valve
Date Identified: 10/19/2021
Devices Used: Gutermann AQUASCAN TM2
Pipe Material: PVC, UPVC
Pipe Diameter: 1.969 in
Distance Between Sensors: 220.0 ft
Date Repaired: 10/20/2021
Estimated Duration of Leak: 2 weeks
Pipe Pressure: 60 PSI
Size of Leak Pinhole: 0.5 in
Estimated Water Loss (over Leak Duration): 800k gal
Estimated Lost Revenue: $165/day
50% Water Loss Reduction, a 1,400% Return on Investment
For the month of October, the city cut their pre-existing water loss in half, down below 15%. This reduction was despite ongoing repairs and the 51st leak repair on October 20th. From this reduction, Splendora saved 105k gal/day or roughly $300/day, $110k annually. With the massive 51st leak, the city saved an additional $164 per day, bringing the total cost saved to $464/day, or about $170k annually. Taking into account SAMCO’s leak detection service charges (not including manpower hours for the repairs) Splendora saw a return on investment of over 1,400%.
Next Steps for the City of Splendora
Per Bill Daugette, Utility Consultant for Splendora:
“The city will use savings to keep its rates as low as possible while also expanding its water system to serve the increasing population. Rather than writing checks to River and Groundwater Authorities investing in our system will help to guarantee a plentiful and affordable water supply to our citizens.”
This case study can be downloaded as PDF: SAMCO Case Study