SAMCO E-Newsletter

by | Dec 15, 2010 | News

SAMCO Finds Water Leaks for City of Uvalde

In September and October, SAMCO Leak Detection conducted a comprehensive leak detection survey for the City of Uvalde. Because Uvalde pumps their water from the Edwards Aquifer, and it holds water permits from the Edwards Aquifer Authority (EAA), it applied for and received a matching grant to help identify leaks and reduce pumping from the aquifer. See story below for more information on the EAA’s Groundwater Conservation Plan (GCP) that provides matching funds for water conservation efforts.

The City of Uvalde’s conservation efforts focused on the detection of leaking pipes, a problem that can cause millions of gallons of water loss every year.

To identify the leaks on more than 60 miles of pipe, trained SAMCO employees used detection methods ranging from acoustic inspection to visually recognizing present or potential leaks during a standard walk-through. Residual tests were also performed to determine whether chlorine was present. More than 60 leaks were found. There were also 17 service line leaks, one case of water theft, one valve leak, and four leaking fire hydrants. All of the leaks were plotted on a GPS map for the city to use for future utility planning needs.

SAMCO recommended several solutions to achieve more efficient water use including: repairing and replacing leaking valves, fire hydrants and service lines, replacing obsolete meters, investigating irrigation and meter box leaks, and reporting residential side leaks to customers.

Edwards Aquifer Authority’s Matching Grants for Water Conservation

The Edwards Aquifer Authority (EAA) was created by the Texas Legislature in 1993 and given the authority to protect and conserve the aquifer that supports the lives and livelihoods of millions of people throughout much of Central Texas.

In early 2004, the EAA organized training programs to help permit holders prepare and implement individual Groundwater Conservation Plans (CGPs). Depending on the type of entity – municipal, industrial, or irrigation – each has general and specific requirements for the GCP. Some of the general requirements include basic contact information, type of water use, and implementation of Best Management Practices. BMPs include system water audits, water waste prohibition, and leak detection for both industrial and municipal permit holders.

The EAA initiated its own Groundwater Conservation Plan (GCP) in 2009 that offered matching grants on a competitive basis to all municipal, industrial, and irrigation entities under its authority that need financial assistance implementing a water conservation program. The eligible options include, but aren’t limited to, rainwater harvesting systems, low-flow toilet installations, low-flow shower head installations, and leak detection and repair programs. The goal of all of these coordinated GCPs is to ensure stability during droughts, and prepare for critical period water-use reductions.

This past August, the Authority’s Board of Directors approved matching conservation program grants totaling $160,460. The recipients included Bexar County Water Control and Improvement District #10, the City of Devine, the City of Live Oak, the City of Shavano Park, Universal City, East Medina County Special Utility District, and Rio Medina Water Corporation. Five out of the seven permit holders are implementing leak detection services.

If your utility, irrigation district, or industry holds a permit from the Edwards Aquifer and is interested in matching grants for water conservation, the next application deadline is April 31, 2011.

For more information on leak detection services, be sure to hear Sam Godfrey of SAMCO speak at the Association of Water Board Directors-Texas Mid-Winter Conference on February 4-5 in Galveston!

Other Recent Projects

Leak detection has become a vital resource to the Houston area as local water systems convert from using ground water to surface water. Some utilities are switching their main water supply to surface water in order to reduce the amount of subsidence, or sinking, that is caused by over pumping of groundwater. Because surface water is usually more costly, utilities want to make sure they’re not losing excessive amounts of water through leaks. Several water systems in the Houston area have been proactive about taking care of their distribution systems by setting up annual leak detection contracts with SAMCO. These systems include: Mission Bend MUD#1, Mission Bend MUD #2, Chelford One MUD, Chelford City MUD#1, Harris County MUD#170, Harris County MUD #133, Harris County MUD#120, Utility District #15 and Bridgestone MUD. To learn more about subsidence issues in the Houston area, read this article from the Community Impact newspaper.

SAMCO just completed the second year of their three-year contract with Mustang Special Utility District. Acoustic leak detection was performed on 46 linear miles of water distribution. An estimated 350 GPS points were collected to map water distribution valves, fire hydrants and one interconnect. A total of 14 leaks were identified.

If you are interested in filling out a leak application form click here,
or for more information call (512) 263-7043.

To find a SAMCO leak detection application just click here,

or call Sam Godfrey at (512) 751-5325 for more information.