Seeing strong returns on its original investment, the Village of Buffalo Grove, northwest of Chicago, has announced the expansion of its partnership with Aquify to bring Remote Insight and Management to its drinking water system. Aquify will create a fifth zone in the Village’s water distribution system and add six more sensors to the current deployment of ten sensors. The expansion will increase the Buffalo Grove’s ability to find underground leaks in its system, catch unauthorized use, and manage water pressure.
“The program has had notable successes since we began and we are very excited to add capability,” said Mike Skibbe, Public Works Director with the Village. “The village has an opportunity to utilize more monitoring points and better leverage Aquify’s 24/7 monitoring and analytics service. This will bring value to our water system and, ultimately, better service to the residents and businesses we supply.”
The expansion to five zones is the result of splitting the central zone in half. The central zone had the largest customer count and is an older section of town with the potential for more leaks. Adding a new zone will help prioritize water loss, capital planning and operational deployment in the older section, according to Skibbe.
“We’re gratified that the Village of Buffalo Grove has seen the results of our solution and sought this expansion of their investment,” said Lev Goldberg, CEO, Aquify. “It also shows that our solution is entirely scalable. In 2019, Buffalo Grove engaged us with a scope they felt comfortable with at the time. Now they have stepped to another level based on the results they’ve seen.”
Among the successes in the almost two year partnership:
- In September 2020, Aquify’s operations center began receiving flow alerts from the sensors installed in the zone on the east side of the village. The alerts were reporting excessive and increasing flows into the zone, which were uncharacteristic for the time of day based on the predicted flow data generated by Aquify’s Machine Learning platform. The Village located the break on a long fire hydrant lateral running into the rear of an unoccupied building located in an industrial park. Making detection even more challenging was the fact that the area was surrounded by ponds. Buffalo Grove estimates the savings of identifying and fixing the leak to be $210,000.
- In addition to finding leaks, Aquify’s system has located unauthorized use. In one case, the Aquify team observed frequent and consistent increases in water use of about 300 gallons per minute (gpm) for 45 minutes to one-hour time intervals. The Village dispatched staff to watch the area near the sensor during the anticipated time of use based on the historical pattern. They discovered an asphalt contractor working in the area was utilizing water from a hydrant to control dust during construction. The asphalt contractor did not have a meter attached to the hydrant or a permit to authorize usage.
Aquify (www.exelonaquify.com) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Exelon Corporation, one of the leading electric and gas utility companies in the U.S., serving more than 10 million customers. Aquify provides cities and municipalities across the U.S. with a new way to manage their aging water infrastructure while also achieving new levels of reliability, resilience and responsiveness. Aquify gives water utilities peace-of-mind and unprecedented system visibility through 24/7 system monitoring and advanced analytics without the need for additional staff or capital investment.