Advanced Leak Detection & Notification
A successful leak detection and notification program requires much more than a simple "continuous flow" flag generated by a water meter or AMI headend system. It requires a combination of:
- Expert analysis
- Multi-channel customer notification
- Task management
The process must be easy for utility employees to understand and manage.
AquaHawk offers one of the most accurate leak detection systems available. It combines analytics and advanced mathematics, developed by world class experts, who have been evaluating similar datasets for more than 30 years.
AquaHawk uses an "Adaptive Filtering" process to review each water account's usage against a series of individualized rules.
For instance, AquaHawk may flag an alert for a residential home if there are 24 x 1 hour periods of water usage--often referred to as a "continuous flow" leak. Another residential user, however, may have a humidifier or swamp cooler installed.
AquaHawk will apply different rules to different accounts before generating an alert. For example:
- Was there continuous usage for 24 x 1hr. periods?
- Does the account use a humidifier/swamp cooler?
- Is the usage higher than expected?
The system will only flag a leak when all these conditions are satisfied. Additional filters are added to the system as new leak patterns are identified.
"Thanks for the alert! There was a leak in a spare bathroom that had been used by guests. I wouldn’t have known for days if not for this alert. The leak was fixed this morning."
It's important to not only identify leaks accurately but to prioritize them so that utilities know where to spend their time and effort. Many AMI/AMR systems generate high usage reports that don't cateogorize issues so employees know where to focus their time and attention.
Preventing False Positives
AquaHawk is a vendor-neutral solution that integrates with most commercial meter raeading systems. We've compared our leak results to those generated by other applications. It's common for AquaHawk to catch serious problems other systems miss. In addition, our system ignores "false positives" that other systems routinely flag.
For example, the most common leak detection method used by AMI/AMR vendors is to flag leaks when continuous hourly usage for 24, 36, or 72 hours has been observed. This is a valid method to use but it doesn't work well for commercial/industrial accounts who may use water around the clock.
Another common way metering systems flag leaks is to set a hard-coded threshold. For example, they might alert if an account uses an average of 100 gallons water/day, and that daily value increases 100% to 200 gallons/day.
This method can produce false positives when:
- Occupancy in the account increases over a holiday weekend, for example, elevating consumption
- An account is under water restrictions and is only allowed to water on Tuesdays/Thursdays/Saturdays. This water usage pattern could easily exceed the threshold.
It's difficult to set thresholds accurately and the process must be performed manually for each account in a service area.
"Greetings, I have attached my leak adjustment form along with a copy of my receipt indicating the items I purchased to make the repair. If it wasn't for the AquaHawk system, this leak would have been undetected for several more days. Thanks again for adopting such a wonderful alert system that allowed me to jump on this repair immediately!!"
To ensure leak alerts are valid prior to being displayed in AquaHawk, each is first reviewed by an experienced analyst. By combining software with expert review, utilities will spend less time managing this process.
Accurately detecting water leaks is a complex problem to solve. AmCoBi has invested years refining its methods so that our system is accurate, reliable, and continually improving.