Mueller Systems now offers utilities the ability to remotely detect and monitor leaks in water distribution mains using the Mi.Echo™ system, its latest advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) feature.
The Mi.Echo system integrates acoustic-based leak detection technology from Echologics, a developer and provider of acoustic-based technologies for water loss management, leak detection and pipe condition assessment, with Mi.Net® — Mueller Infrastructure Network for Utilities, Mueller Systems' fixed, two-way AMI network for utilities.
Both Mueller Systems and Echologics are affiliates of Mueller Co., North America's largest and only full-line supplier of potable water distribution products. They are part of the Mueller Water Products, Inc. group of companies.
The Mi.Echo system is part of Mueller Water Products' Intelligent Water Technology™ (IWT) portfolio of products and services that actively diagnose, monitor and control the delivery of safe, clean drinking water to consumers and businesses.
Echologics pioneered the development of a proprietary, acoustic-based system, known as LeakFinderRT™, which can be used in the field to non-invasively locate distribution main leaks with accuracy that exceeds normal standards without breaking ground or inserting tools into the water system.
As the only two-way AMI solution that incorporates components of the LeakFinderRT platform, the Mi.Echo system is designed to enable utilities to remotely detect and pinpoint leaks on distribution mains. This capability can help utilities more intelligently reduce non-revenue water while prioritizing and conducting repair projects. It does so by detecting leaks without using field crews, excavating potential leak sites or resorting to other costly and time consuming tasks normally associated with traditional leak detection methods.
"By integrating technology into water infrastructure, we are giving utilities the ability to access data they can use to make educated decisions that improve the way they manage their water systems, conserve water and better serve their customers," said Hassan Ali, vice president and general manager of Mueller Systems. "With the Mi.Echo system we have been able to leverage the technological expertise of Mueller Co., a brand synonymous with innovative solutions, to help water utilities manage their infrastructure and ensure access to safe, clean drinking water."
The main component of the Mi.Echo system is the Mi.Logger™ technology—a radio frequency transceiver featuring Echologics' sensors and algorithms housed in a cast-iron or high-density plastic enclosure that replaces the pumper nozzle caps of wet and dry barrel fire hydrants throughout a utility's service area. The Mi.Logger technology receivers collect acoustic data from pipelines before generating and wirelessly transmitting reports containing the data to the Mi.Net System's host software component—Mi.Host™. Detected leaks, bursts, low flow and hydrant tampering can be viewed by users online through the Mi.Host user interface, which is integrated with ESRI GIS Mapping software. Users can view the sizes and locations of leaks to determine whether or not immediate repairs need to be made, and they can compare collected data to reports transmitted by other Mi.Logger units to rule out false leak alarms.