Bethpage Water District Blog

Friday, April 23, 2021

Using Sound to Track Down Leaking Water Mains

Bethpage Water District Completes Leak Detection Initiative

    After more than a week of surveying the water mains throughout the community, the Bethpage Water District has completed its leak detection initiative. The effort was launched to help the District identify unknown leaks to reduce the amount of unaccounted for water that escapes the system between the production facility and a customers’ home. 45 leaks were identified throughout the District’s service territory on fire hydrants, water mains and service lines amounting to thousands of gallons of water that was escaping the system every day.


    “Leak detection service is one of the most effective ways to identify leaks in our distribution system before they bubble to surface,” said BWD Chairman John Coumatos. “Now that the analysis has been completed and the leaks have been identified, our crews have gotten to work making the necessary repairs that will save thousands upon thousands of gallons of water every day.”   


    According to the American Water Works Association, industry standards for unaccounted for water are approximately 10 percent, meaning these leaks—while significant—are not outside of the norm for a water provider. Given the fact that water infrastructure lies several feet beneath the surface, leaks oftentimes go undetected. Utilizing specialized equipment, leaks are detected using sound waves measured through the water—much like sonar.  Connecting the sound monitoring devices to various points along a water main, such as a fire hydrant or valve, the technician can pinpoint with accuracy the location of an active leak.  


    “Given the fact that our residents are already saddle with so many unnecessary costs as we treat for contaminants stemming from the Northrop Grumman Plume, we implement cost-saving measures every chance we can,” added Chairman Coumatos. “Fixing these leaks means less money spent on electric and treatment chemicals.”


    Leak repairs will continue in the coming weeks so the District asks that residents use caution when traveling through an active construction site. Repairing of all of these previously unknown leaks will not only save water, but will save taxpayer dollars on all of the electricity, treatment chemicals and manpower expended with water that was ultimately never reached residents.


    For more information, please contact the Bethpage Water District at 516-931-0093, visit or the District’s Facebook page at 

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