Rio Rancho hopes to implement high-tech water leak detection systems

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Rio Rancho’s water system has been plagued with problems since the city was built. Water breaks and leaky pipes have cost millions of dollars and gallons of water. Now, the city is looking into tech-savvy leak detection systems that could help solve the problem.

Water, it’s a precious element. But in Rio Rancho, water is a touchy subject.

“Well, it seems as though you see water leaks frequently in the street,” said local Jeanne Romero.

Water problems have plagued the city for years, especially when it comes to leaks.

“We’ve had them, we’ve had water leaks,” said local Richard Espinosa.

“One spot will be fixed and even on the same street in a very short time you’ll see another leak,” said Romero.

Rio Rancho has been scrambling to replace thousands of old water lines. Now, they want to take it a step further and apply to the Bureau of Reclamation for two tech-savvy water leak detection grants: acoustic and satellite leak detections.

According to the Energy Department, acoustic leak detection uses sound waves to find leaks in pipes. With companies like Asel-Tech, workers would place sensors on pipes to record the frequency coming from the pipe.

Leaks make a certain frequency when water is breaking through the pipe, notifying workers where the leak is. For satellite detections systems like with the company Utilis, they use satellite images with ground data to see if any underground water is escaping from the pipes.

“Technology seems to be taking over in all directions,” said Espinosa.

People who KRQE News 13 talked to like these high tech solutions.

“I think that anything new that they want to try will be worth trying because it seems to be such a huge problem,” said Romero.

According to the resolution, the city is willing to match the $150,000 grant for two years. The council will vote whether to move forward with the grant applications at the meeting on April 24.

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