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What Murfeesboro, Tenn., is doing to curb its water waste

Submitted by scc partner on January 21, 2016

Contributed by Itron

Every day, an average of 10 to 30% of water pumped is lost or unaccounted for. Known as non-revenue water (NRW), this lost water costs a lot — not only in water, but in energy. In the U.S. alone, $13 billion in water is lost to leaks each year.

The need to prevent non-revenue water losses and protect water resources has become increasingly important as populations grow and demand for water increases. A smart water network can be a fundamental component in any conservation program. Detecting and stopping leaks allows water that would have otherwise been wasted to be conserved.

A smart water network gives cities, utilities and citizens access to detailed information about their usage, so unusual usage and leaks can be identified and resources can be conserved. And with acoustic leak detection technology, utilities can listen for leaks in their distribution system and fix them before they become costly main breaks.

In the state of Tennessee, one city is putting this technology into action to conserve water resources. The City of Murfreesboro, Tenn. Water & Sewer Department (MWSD), provider of water to nearly 27,000 customers, is installing Itron’s smart water solution to more effectively and efficiently manage the delivery and use of water through automation, leak detection and analytics.

Itron’s smart water solution enables MWSD to take advantage of detailed meter data and analytics to enhance customer service, protect revenue, forecast consumption and support other applications that improve operational efficiency. Citizens have online access to their accounts and consumption information, helping them better understand their water usage to reduce the amount they use and save money before they get their bill.

The city is also using Itron’s leak detection technology, which acoustically listen to the distribution system to pinpoint leaks. This enables MWSD to better monitor distribution lines, helping reduce non-revenue water, associated costs and potential service disruptions caused by major leaks.

With smart technologies, cities like Murfreesboro can use information to reduce waste. Reducing leaks decreases the amount of water that is pumped and treated to meet current and future demand. This reduces the amount of energy required to pump the water and the amount of water lost. In the end, smart technologies enable cities to focus on conservation and creating a resourceful future.

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