The following article showcasing an American Leak Detection water conservation job near Atlanta, GA. was featured in the current June issue of Utility Infrastructure Management. UIM is the trade journal of finance and management for water and wastewater professionals.
Joe Keller has been a plumber for 21 years, but he has never experienced a job quite this complicated. The Golden Estates Mobile Home Community in Douglasville, Ga., has a 50-acre property that boasts three types of water pipes, antiquated maps, few isolation valves and pipe depths that vary from 1-8 ft underground.
“Their maps look like Civil War-type documents with faded blue lines and all,” said Keller, owner of K&C Plumbing & Septic Services. “It’s hard not knowing exactly where the lines are and this isn’t nice, easy digging. I asked their manager, ‘You heard of that Disney movie “Holes? Rent it ‘cause that’s your property.’”
The property’s water loss had gradually worsened over the last five years. But in February 2011, the Golden Estates Community received a $27,050 bill for consuming more than 2 million gallons of water in a 35-day billing cycle. Buckner Group Regional Manager Crissy King said she didn’t know who to call or where to begin. Compared to the same month the previous year, the community was suddenly consuming 560,000 gallons more and spending an excess of $8,100.
She suspected there may be a water leak but there was little evidence to prove it. No residents had noticed unusual surface water bubbling up and pavement and lawns were dry. The private property, comprised of 234 lots, has a commercial water meter and management bills residents each month after sub-meters monitor individual usage.
During the most problematic month, 850,000 gallons of water were unaccounted for due to unknown leaks. Three years worth of water usage was flowing from the faucets and underground pipes in a 30-day period. This mystery was costing approximately $15,500 per month and could not be billed to residents.
To read the full article, visit: http://www.uimonline.com/index/webapp-stories-action/id.719/title.addressing-leaks-helps-georgia-community-conserve-thousands