Stopping leaks in their tracks

Updated October 23, 2019
Stopping leaks in their tracks

With more than 600 miles of water mains and more than 47,000 service connections in Roseville’s service area, locating leaks can sometimes be daunting. At times, non-emergency leaks are very easy to spot. Other times, it requires further investigation by our water distribution staff.

Thankfully, we have tools to help, so leaks can run but they can’t hide. These tools help us proactively identify leaks, audit and repair them so that we can ensure that we use the treated water for customers’ beneficial use.

Our water utility uses an acoustic leak detection system that listens for water leaking underground and helps pinpoint the location of where the leaks are occurring. With the help of this device, it allows us to be efficient and accurate in detecting leaks and performing water loss audits, which is a requirement by state agencies as a water utility provider.

What is acoustic leak detection?
Using sensors, this tool monitors sound within our water system and can identify acoustic anomalies—which is a telltale sign of a leak. These leaks are many feet below the ground, so without tools like these, it would otherwise go unnoticed for a longer period of time.

How do we look for non-emergency leaks?
Because of our vast water distribution network, we prioritize non-emergency leaks based on a set criteria. We look at historical data collected of repairs made overtime, the type of pipe material in the ground as well as known soil conditions. All three of these variables are useful data points in determining the probability of leaks.

From there, we deploy our water distribution workers who listen to the water mains, valves, hydrants and service lines. If a leak is found, we do an investigation to determine if the leak is on the city or customer side of the water meter. When leaks are found, our staff looks to address it quickly—sometimes it requires the customers help if it’s on their side or we make repairs if it’s the water utility’s responsibility.

Proactive leak detection benefits everyone
Although leak detection is a required task for our water utility, it has significant benefits for both the water utility and the customer. Through our proactive leak detection program, we are able to:

  • Reduce water loss: Repairing water leaks saves money for the utility through reduced power costs to deliver water and reduced chemical costs to treat water.

  • Create efficient use of existing supplies: We can stretch the existing supply and deliver right to our customers by reducing the amount of water loss to leaks.

  • Safeguard public health and decrease disruptions: Proactive maintenance to the water distribution system helps reduce the likelihood of property damage and reduces major breaks that disrupt service to customers.

It is the goal of this program to achieve 100 miles of water main surveyed each year. This program gives us another tool to eliminate water loss and maintain the best water quality for our customers.

Need to report a leak? For all emergency and non-emergency leaks, call us at (916) 774-5750.

Featured Stories