A new partnership is expected to save Elk Grove Village and its water customers hundreds of thousands of dollars a year through leak detection and water conservation.
The water monitoring system through Aquify, an Exelon company, uses additional sensor technology on “smart” water meters to more precisely identify and locate water system leaks. The equipment, which senses water flow and pressure, is currently being added to water meters throughout Elk Grove Village’s system.
“We are very excited and grateful for this opportunity to work with Aquify to bring this advanced technology to our community,” Mayor Craig Johnson said. “We look forward to utilizing state-of-the-art technologies to reduce water loss, save money, and better manage our critical drinking water infrastructure.”
The system is expected to become partially operational by Saturday, Aug. 1, village officials said. It is expected to be fully operational across the entire village water system in about one year, once sensor equipment has been added to all water meters in the village.
The village pays suppliers a bulk rate for water but can experience financial losses when leaks occur. Similarly, water users can experience financial losses when there are leaks in the system within a home or business.
Johnson said the system, once fully installed, will be able to sense the location of a leak to within 1,000 feet. Increased water usage would also be identified immediately by Aquify staff monitoring the system 24-hours a day.
Johnson said currently, water meters are only checked once every two months, which means a leak could go undetected for an extended period. Leaks outside homes and businesses monitored by water meters are sometimes not detected until the water rises up from the ground or other serious issues arise.
Cracked water pipes can lower water pressure and increase the ability of contaminants to enter freshwater pipes from the surrounding soil.
Johnson said the new system, once fully operational, could save the village $200,000 minimally per year, and could save the village as much as $300,000 per year.
The 2020 contract with Aquify for $41,820 was approved by village trustees at their April 14 board meeting. Johnson said that the contract will increase in future years to $85,000 because the system will not be fully installed this year.