In 2017, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) gave the U.S. water infrastructure a D grade. On average, there are about 240,000 breaks every year, which corresponds to losing 2 trillion gallons of treated water and a break rate of 25 to 30 per 100 miles of pipeline per year. It isn't a surprise that the ASCE graded the municipal water infrastructure so poorly. Such high levels of breaks and leaks are detrimental to the financial viability of water utilities. Water utilities typically invest in traditional acoustic leak detection technologies to audit pipelines and figure out which ones to repair or replace. However, we are seeing some progressive utilities work with companies offering software solutions to identify pipelines that are most susceptible to breaks, thus reducing the cost to implement last-mile technologies like acoustic surveys.
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