The Macon Water Authority in Macon, Ga. has taken a proactive approach to eliminating water main breaks and reducing costly leaks. Since beginning its leak-detection program in September 2013, the Macon Water Authority has found and repaired more than 50 leaks, eliminating over 12 million gallons of lost water per month.

The Macon Water Authority is responsible for providing drinking water to the city’s 55,000 metered connections, which serve its population of 120,000. With over 1,400 miles of mains, and some sections over 100 years old, the Macon Water Authority management team was interested in adding a leak-detection element to its existing water loss control program.

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The team consulted with other utilities and vendors to research and compare leak detection programs and equipment. After careful consideration, the water authority contacted Simon Wick at Matchpoint Inc. in Wilmington, N.C. about purchasing leak detection equipment manufacutured by Fluid Conservation Systems.

Macon Water Authority purchased 30 Permalog+ leak noise loggers, a Patroller II for mobile data collection, and an X-Mic ground microphone.

After receiving product training from Matchpoint, water authority employees began to deploy the Permalog+ loggers throughout the city’s water system. Using the “Lift and Shift” method, employees were able to use the 30 loggers to start their leakage program and the survey of their 1,400 miles of mains.

Permalog+ loggers attach magnetically to pipes and valves. During the nighttime, when ambient noise is lowest, the loggers activate to “listen” for leak noise signatures within the pipeline. Employees then collect the loggers’ data for analysis on drive-by patrols using the Patroller II. Leaks are pinpointed for repair using the X-Mic ground microphone.