Recently, WHUD was featured in TechTarget, a network of technology specific websites, for our innovative approach to leak detection, specifically, our use of big data to increase productivity and proactively detect leaks. Here is a short excerpt:
The White House Utility District (WHUD) in Tennessee was losing about $1 million a year in water due to leaks. The district covers some 600 square miles in a rural area. Finding leaks was difficult and reactive. It often involved using devices to help listen for the telltale sounds of a leak. The repair work was often in response to customer complaints of low water pressure, and undiscovered leaks could sometimes damage roads.
They installed sensors in the pipes to give them a far more accurate and detailed insight into what was going on in their systems. The sensors pick up variations in the water flow, indicating leaks. They used OSIsoft's PI System, a software platform that gathers data from different devices, as well as cleans and structures it. This system works with the WHUD homegrown ERP system. The vendor's software also generally works with ERP systems.
They had 1.5 people dedicated to finding and fixing leaks prior to making this upgrade.
WHUD cut its water losses in half with the sensor technology and software platform. The calculations they need are now automated. With that savings, they now have four people dedicated to addressing leaks. "They are multiple times more productive because they have data to act on," said Pat Harrell, district engineer at the district.