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KANAWHA COUNTY, WV - Water main breaks and boil water advisories are frequent occurrences for families in Kanawha County. Recently, West Virginia American Water put in a new system to detect hidden, underground leaks before they develop into bigger problems.

The water company installed a new acoustic-based leak detection system along a 10-mile stretch of the Kanawha Valley last December. Since then, the technology has been able to alert engineers of at least 60 leaks. This June, the system was able to identify a problem on a 36-inch concrete transmission line on the West Side of Charleston.

"It allows us to identify leaks that are non-visible, therefore they have not resulted in a full failure yet," said Laura Jordan, the external affairs manager for WVAW.

Previously, workers had to listen for leaks manually and walk from meter to meter with headphones. The new system installed more than 300 loggers on fire hydrants across the county that feed information to a web based internet site in real time.

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Posted By: Mike Stadnyckyj