Reduction of Non-Revenue Water through Continuous Acoustic Monitoring

David M. Hughes, Chandan Venkatesh

Research output: Book/Report/Conference proceedingTechnical report


This project sought to further the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center's (ISTC) stated goal of reducing a billion gallons of water waste in the state of Illinois. This reduction can be directed in part at water utilities that transport billions of gallons from treatment and supply facilities to the customer through aging pipelines. Utilizing an advanced leak monitoring technique, this project has achieved measurable water savings in a water distribution system in less than a year, and has demonstrated the potential for significant water savings for other water systems. An economic analysis of the costs and benefits of the system has been provided to offer guidance to aid utilities considering this technology. This pilot project sought to quantify the reduction of infrastructure leakage using active acoustic monitoring. The installation of advanced correlating continuous acoustic monitoring (correlating CAM) technology alerted the utility to water leaks close to the moment they started, rather than after they surfaced. A key to effective monitoring is the metering of the system supply to quantify leakage and determine the extent of non-revenue water losses. The economic analysis includes not only water production cost savings, but also identifies secondary benefits including projected reduction of overtime due to leak repair and damage caused by leaks. Because the system was put in place within 60 days of the start of the year-long project, there was sufficient time (including fall and winter months, when leaks are most prevalent) for leak equipment to be assessed and savings to be identified.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Place of PublicationChampaign, IL
PublisherIllinois Sustainable Technology Center
StatePublished - Feb 2016

Publication series

NameRR Series (Illinois Sustainable Technology Center)


  • Water conservation -- Illinois -- Case studies
  • Leak detection


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