American Leak Detection technician Dan Schaffner spent three days diligently surveying 20 miles of pipe to locate a hidden leak causing Roseburg, Ore. to lose 1,200 gallons of treated water per minute, totaling up to 2 million gallons a day. The city’s reservoir supply had dropped so drastically, officials initially asked more than 10,000 water customers to conserve resources.
The source of the leak had stumped local water officials since Friday morning when staff made them aware of the need to pump more water. City crews spent four days trying to locate the elusive gusher with outdated maps, but they ultimately decided to call in the experts.
“This was a complicated job,” says Tony Dietrich, city water superintendent. “Our reservoirs were barely maintaining and we needed their help to isolate the systems. We didn’t have the tools or experience their techs have to locate the leak.”
Using sonic listening equipment, Schaffner discovered an unknown secondary valve to a line crossing the river. Once this buried valve was closed, the reservoirs began to fill within an hour. Although the pipes are decades old, Dietrich blames recent heavy rainfall for causing the issue. To be proactive in locating other suspected leaks, he said the city is considering hiring American Leak Detection to perform a system-wide survey.
American Leak Detection has served the entire state of Oregon and Southwest Washington since Matthew and Shari Botermans purchased the territory in 2001. They operate six trucks and employ a staff of 10 from their office in Talent. Technicians are based in Medford, Eugene, Salem, Portland and Vancouver. The city of Roseburg has utilized American Leak Detection’s services for difficult jobs since 2002.