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West View Water Authority Testing New Way To Sense Potential Pipe Bursts

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ROSS TOWNSHIP (KDKA) -- Traffic was getting by in an alternating single lane on Thompson Run Road in Ross Township on Monday as West View Water Authority crews worked in the other lane.

The crews were establishing new hookups for homes from the brand new water main they have installed five feet below the road's surface. The new main replaces an old main that with age has become vulnerable to breaks.

It is how WVWA would like its crews to be working every day, rather than responding to any of the 440 breaks and leaks it experienced last year.

WVWA's Executive Director Robert Christian says their goal is to reduce those incidents 5 percent each year through an aggressive replacement program.

Ross Township Family Hoping For WVWA Help After Water Main Break Damage --

 

The authority is also testing a new weapon to reduce breaks. They are electronic PipeMinders installed to monitor the pressure in the distribution system.

"It continuously samples about 130 times per second and if there is a sudden or significant change within our system pressure, it will send us a signal," Christian said.

Because those signals are real time and transmitted to the authority's office over Wi-Fi it creates the opportunity to make an immediate adjustment and potentially head off a costly water main rupture.

"By reducing main breaks, we are better able to control our rates and better serve our customers," Christian said.

The pilot program is slated to run through next year before the authority decides whether to expand the number of PipeMinders at work in the West View system. Already he says they are seeing some positive results.

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