Partners: TRC, Rezatec
This project created water and energy savings by identifying leaks in municipal water infrastructure and opportunities for infrastructure upgrades.
Leaks in municipal water structure waste energy as well as water, as additional pumping is required to deliver water to customers. The project team recruited four communities in the ComEd service territory and analyzed problems and risk areas in their water infrastructure using geographic information system (GIS) modeling and energy use data. This analysis was then used to guide onsite testing of the municipal water systems to pinpoint active leaks and to inform infrastructure repairs and upgrade plans developed for each of the communities. TRC also worked with a subcontractor to help identify potential funding opportunities to help cover the cost of the water infrastructure upgrade plans and support the communities in applying for those funds.
Results and Outcomes
Key findings from the pilot include the following:
- All four of the communities in the pilot were struggling to identify and control water losses
- Water losses are higher in income-eligible communities, as are the economic impacts
- The pilot realized water and electricity savings because the communities fixed many of the leaks that were identified during the onsite testing
- The communities collectively saved approximately 231 million gallons of water a year (MGY) and ComEd saved approximately 595 megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity a year
- The water saved represents a small portion, approximately 18%, of the real water losses
- New smart water technology is available and can be installed to find a significant portion of the remaining, approximately 80%, real water losses
- Smart water technology is a cost-effective and shorter-term alternative to pipe replacement