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Park City Municipal Discovers Leaks In Upper Deer Valley

On average, Park City uses 3,000 gallons of water per minute of water year-round. But that’s with leaks. Melissa Allison brings us an update on the city’s efforts to identify and repair them:

Since they’ve contracted with Visenti, a company out of Singapore which provides an in-pipe leak detection system, several leaks have been detected. That is now saving the city hundreds of gallons of water per minute.

The contract was for nearly $110,000 and Water Resources Manager Jason Christensen said the money was well worth it.

“By deploying some basic acoustic leak detection, that we did first, that found us about 100 gallons per minute,” Christensen said. “And then we used an advanced system – we’re one of the first utilities in North America to deploy that. It was a company by the name of Visenti and they actually attach listening devises to about 20 fire hydrants up in Upper Deer Valley. And by actively listening to the system there and trying to find leaks with those sensors, we found an additional 200 gallons per minute.”

That’s 10 percent of Park City’s demand.

Christensen said there’s a reason residents didn’t see the 300 gallons of water leaking out.

“What was really interesting about it is, we would expect 200 gallons a minute to pop up in the road, to show up for people to call,” Christensen said. “But the Centennial Circle neighborhood, its built on some really fractured rock and that rock was just pulling that water away as quickly as it entered the ground, so it wasn’t surfacing there.”

Those discoveries will save the city, Christensen said, about $160,000 a year in operating costs. Even better, the city isn’t spending the full $110,000. Since there aren’t any other areas with the same characteristics as Upper Deer Valley – the city is not purchasing the equipment from Visenti. That brings the total down to about $57,000.

Christensen said the system was launched in May and taken down the end of September.

All the service lines from the water main to the resident’s water meter where they found leaks were made of black poly which Christensen said were installed in the mid 70’s to 80’s.

Those leaks have already been repaired and Christensen said the residents were great about the imposition since the work was not scheduled.

The city will continue to do their routine checks everyone to three years as well as monitoring their SCADA system which monitors the water use for each area.

I’m Melissa Allison, KPCW News.