Let It Rain

Let It Rain

I left the office last night in a down pour. After facing drought conditions for much of the fall and winter, Missouri and Kansas were being treated to two weeks of nearly steady rainfall. Perfect flow monitoring weather. As I navigated the puddles on Manchester Road, my mind was anticipating the excitement of reviewing flow meter data in the morning. I told myself not to connect to the meters, but to wait for the midnight data. Our team has been focused on improving the entire process of selecting meter sites, completing installations, downloading and performing maintenance, and – most importantly – reviewing data and making adjustments. A number of thoughts raced through my head: How many structures surcharged and for how long? Did we lose data recording because of debris? Did we capture information that will help develop an accurate hydraulic model to ultimately prevent flooding and overflows? I should have had a camera in that location! How can anyone get this excited about a little water in a sewer? When I pulled into the parking lot, I sent a text to my co-worker, Brandon Freeman, asking if he was as excited as I was – and he was! Because for us at TREKK, collecting good data is more than just a job. We’re passionate about helping our communities solve their flooding challenges and keeping our waterways clean. It’s one of the many ways we’re IMPROVING LIVES. -Jeff Kaestner, Project...
How Much Money are Leaks Costing You?

How Much Money are Leaks Costing You?

In the Midwest, we sometimes forget how lucky we are to basically have an unlimited supply of fresh water. Just because we don’t have a water shortage doesn’t mean that leaky distribution systems don’t cost money. It is difficult – if not impossible – to quantify the amount of damage water leaks cause to other utilities and infrastructure, such as roadways, sewer lines, and natural gas lines. A system that keeps good records should know the cost of the chemicals it uses to treat the water and the electricity to pump the water. Pumping and treatment costs can run as low as $.20 per thousand gallons for a system that just uses electricity, to as high as $4 per thousand gallons for a system that purchases water from another system. Most, however, fall between $1 and $2 per thousand gallons. Because costs can vary so much, I use $1 per thousand gallons ($1/1,000) to estimate costs if no cost data is known. With this in mind, we can begin calculating how much a single leak would cost in a year.  A single 2 gallon per minute (GPM) leak is the size of a 1/8” diameter hole in a 60psi pipe. It will lose more than 1 million gallons of water in a year.  By comparison, a garden hose typically runs between 5 and 10 gallons per minute. If it costs $1/1,000 gallons to treat the water in the 2 GPM leak, that leak will cost $1,000 per year. Below is some real data from communities in Missouri, as reported to MDNR:   *Cost is estimated using $1/1000 gallons. Actual...