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Faster response times help minimize water loss

July 14, 2022


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Main breaks are increasing

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) estimates that a water main break occurs every two minutes in the US, resulting in the loss of approximately 6 billion gallons of treated water each day. According to an extensive main break study conducted by researchers at Utah State University in 2018, the overall break rate across surveyed US utilities increased by 27% over 6 years from 2012 to 2018.

Response times matter

As organizations face this upward trend in break rates in parallel with unprecedented supply shortages and increasing production costs, response times for managing pipe failures are more important than ever. Reducing the time it takes to isolate leaks and initiate repairs can significantly minimize system water losses.

The amount of water lost per break varies by type and size of break, pipe diameter, and pressure, but water utilities can lose a couple of hundred gallons a minute to tens of thousands of gallons per minute. This means that minutes matter, but it takes time to work through traditional protocols for calling out staff and distributing information to necessary response personnel. Documenting customer reports, alerting appropriate staff, and mobilizing response efforts must happen as efficiently as possible to minimize water loss when a main break occurs.

In addition to the potential economic impacts of water outages on local businesses, pipe failures can be a public relations challenge when customers are being asked or required to take conservation measures due to supply shortages. The optics of even a small leak with a slow response time can negatively affect customer confidence and trust. By reducing the time required to isolate a pipe failure, water providers can minimize water loss and limit the impact of service disruptions on their customers. This ultimately leads to cascading benefits for the water system, the community it serves and its potentially strained water supplies.

How technology can help

Daupler has tools to help water systems improve response times and coordination between internal and external stakeholders.  

From the time a customer calls to report an issue, Daupler’s response management system (Daupler RMS) documents and characterizes incident details. Based on an organization’s callout procedures, Daupler RMS will notify designated staff until response crews are mobilized. Real-time incident updates can be accessed by staff throughout the event to ensure all response activity is based on the most current information.

By quickly dispatching the right staff and equipment, main breaks or leaks can be fixed as efficiently as possible. Staff resources are optimally distributed based on the best available incident information, and call takers can handle larger call volumes thanks to Daupler’s automation features.

Contact Daupler today to learn about how these tools can improve response performance at your organization.

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