WEIRTON - After six months of a pilot study for a water leak detection system, the Weirton Area Water Board staff is preparing to make recommendations regarding the future use of the Mosaic Firefly devices.
Assistant Utilities Director Sam Stoneking said the pilot study was implemented late last year as the board was looking for a better way to detect leaks throughout the city's water system rather than having to dig and hope to find what they were looking for in the city's water system.
Stoneking said the Firefly devices allow a new option in gathering data from water meters in the city, with the goal of utility staff being able to more easily detect leaks in the system. Although there were some early issues with proper data reporting in the beginning because of the area's topography, he said the system has been working great.
Staff members have undergone training on how to manipulate the software in addition to the installation and troubleshooting of the devices.
The system allows water board employees to monitor the water lines in real time. Before the implementation of the system, it would normally take 60 days to discover a leak and a large bill and water loss associated with it. Now, according to staff, it can be discovered within 24 to 48 hours.
"We're going to be putting together a presentation for the board and make recommendations in either August or September," said Stoneking.
The presentation will talk about what the overall goal of the study was, how the devices accomplished that goal and what the data reported back to the staff.
"It has definitely worked and is doing what it is supposed to do," he added.
Utilities Director Butch Mastrantoni said there is a great deal of information to be gathered for the presentation. He said it will also focus on which parts of the study and actual system warrant investment.
The cost of the pilot program is approximately $22,000 and was budgeted for the current fiscal year.
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