SJW’s System Detects Leaks from Space

Posted on Aug 31, 2018

SJW’s System Detects Leaks from Space

In addition to delivering and ensuring quality water for customers, conservation is central to San Jose Water’s (SJW) mission. One way the company meets its conservation goals is by employing the “Acoustic Leak Detection” system, which draws on data from the Utilis satellite technology. Utilis identifies leaks by analyzing satellite imagery that indicates the locations of possible leaks. The technology uses advanced algorithmic analysis to track the “signature” of treated water that is visible when read by satellites.

Based on the identified locations, SJW’s Distribution System Inspectors Mark and Damon follow up on the data to find the source of active leaks and notify affected customers. SJW’s entire system, including more than 2,400 miles of pipes, has been analyzed by Utilis satellites, and it will take more than a year for Damon and Mark to locate possible leaks and determine whether they are naturally occurring or actual leaks. SJW also is installing high-tech leak sensors on its fire hydrants to detect potential problems.

“Most customers we meet appreciate that we are out here trying to save water and letting them know when there is a leak on their property,” said Mark. “People are usually pretty happy to work with us because catching a leak early can help save them money.”

Click here to watch Mark track down a leak identified by satellites.

[Picture: SJW’s Distribution System Inspectors Mark and Damon.]