NJBPU Pilot Program Grants a Total of $1.1 Million to Four Municipal Water Utilities to Install State-of-the-Art Leak Detection Technology

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NJBPU Pilot Program Grants a Total of $1.1 Million to Four Municipal Water Utilities to Install State-of-the-Art Leak Detection Technology

Acoustic Testing Pilot Program aims to mitigate water and energy losses in urban, older suburban, and overburdened communities; saving money and resources

TRENTON, N.J.

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) today awarded a total of $1.1 million in grants to Trenton Water Works (Mercer County), Township of North Brunswick (Middlesex County), Manchester Utilities Authority (Passaic County), and Washington Township Municipal Utilities Authority (Morris County) to implement permanent leak detection technology in their water systems through the Acoustic Testing Pilot Program.

Most water delivery systems are located underground, often making it difficult to locate leaks. The four awardees’ recent system assessments indicated significant water losses from their pipes, ranging from 33% to 53%. The Pilot Program will help these water utilities to acquire and install acoustic testing technology that uses sensors to monitor and capture sounds within water systems allowing for the swift detection of leaks, ensuring they can be located and repaired quickly and saving large amounts of water and energy needed to treat and pump water.

“Investing in improving our aging water infrastructure is crucial for ensuring affordable and efficient water delivery to all of our residents. Not only are we exploring new energy-saving measures as outlined in Governor Murphy’s Energy Master Plan, but we are focused on ensuring equitable access to the latest technology for overburdened communities,” said NJBPU President Joseph L. Fiordaliso. “Today’s investments in leak-detection and water loss prevention, means savings for our residents and the conservation of one of our most precious resources New Jersey’s families and businesses rely on.”  

The Acoustic Testing Pilot Program was approved by NJBPU on March 3, 2021 with a budget of $1.5 million for grants to water utilities to install state-of-the-art leak detection technology to aid in identifying water leaks throughout their infrastructure. Applications were due May 15, 2021 and individual award amounts for the Program were capped at $500,000.

Governor Murphy’s landmark Energy Master Plan (EMP): Pathway to 2050, encouraged the exploration of “new energy-saving opportunities in complementary sectors, such as the water sector.” Significant energy reductions are possible by addressing leaking water supply pipelines. By installing acoustic leak-detection technology utility system operators and repair personnel can efficiently address the root cause of the problem in additional to collecting acoustical data.

The Pilot Program, funded by the Societal Benefits Charge (SBC), will last 18 months and will require Trenton Water Works, Township of North Brunswick, Manchester Utilities Authority, and Washington Township Municipal Utilities Authority to provide a final assessment of the impact of the project including water, energy, and cost savings. 

If implemented statewide, permanent acoustic leak detection technology could save tens of billions of gallons of water, tens of millions of kilowatt-hours of energy, and millions of dollars per year, based on current statewide estimates for water and energy loss.

For further information please contact Peter Peretzman at (609) 900-5626 or peter.peretzman@bpu.nj.gov

About the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU)

NJBPU is a state agency and regulatory authority mandated to ensure safe, adequate and proper utility services at reasonable rates for New Jersey customers. Critical services regulated by NJBPU include natural gas, electricity, water, wastewater, telecommunications and cable television. The Board has general oversight and responsibility for monitoring utility service, responding to consumer complaints, and investigating utility accidents. To find out more about NJBPU, visit our website at www.nj.gov/bpu.

About New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program (NJCEP)

NJCEP, established on January 22, 2003, in accordance with the Electric Discount and Energy Competition Act (EDECA), provides financial and other incentives to the State’s residential customers, businesses and schools that install high-efficiency or renewable energy technologies, thereby reducing energy usage, lowering customers’ energy bills and reducing environmental impacts. The program is authorized and overseen by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU), and its website is www.NJCleanEnergy.com.

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