Preventing Non-Revenue Water Loss: How AMI and Leak Detection Can Help

Learn how the City of Elmhurst, Illinois reduced non-revenue water loss with Aclara AMI and acoustic leak detection technology.

Leaks on water mains, service connections, and storage tanks contribute to significant non-revenue water loss and financial setbacks for cities across the country. Our case study, AMI and Leak Detections Stops the Flow of Non-Revenue Water City of Elmhurst, Illinois, USA, showcases how one city was able to reduce non-revenue water loss by employing Aclara AMI and acoustic leak detection technology.

Non-Revenue Water Loss in Elmhurst, Illinois

In recent years, outdated pipes, inaccurate meters and aging infrastructure have cost the city of Elmhurst, Illinois non-revenue water losses of nearly 800,000 gallons per day, about 20% of the city’s purchased water. This meant the city was not meeting the standard set forth by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), which requires that water utilities reduce non-revenue water to 10% or less of total purchased water.

Advanced Metering Infrastructure and Acoustic Leak Detection

Four years ago, Elmhurst’s Utility Operations Manager Paul Burris began a search for a system that would help decrease non-revenue water loss. After surveying multiple AMI systems, Elmhurst selected Aclara’s RF™ solution for its low long-term ownership costs, ability to operate on licensed frequencies, and adaptability.


Elmhurst replaced all of its 15,000 meters in less than a year and implemented a consumer portal that allowed customers to monitor their water usage and find leaks within their homes. To quickly identify leaks caused by freezing, ground movement and environmental factors, the city also placed acoustic zone sensors from the Aclara RF ZoneScan leak detection system on 610 auxiliary fire-hydrant valves.

Key Statistics 

Implementing advanced metering infrastructure and leak detection simultaneously enabled Elmhurst to reduce its non-revenue water to less than 10%, thereby meeting IDNR requirements. In addition to reduced water loss, Elmhurst also saw the following improvements:

  1. AMI and leak detection prevented 131 million gallons of water from leaking into the ground in 2020.
  2. Residents are using nearly 7% less water annually.
  3. Reduced purchased water costs by $1,000,000 in 2019.
  4. Savings of over $500,000 in fixed network costs.
  5. 5% decrease in unmeasured non-revenue water.

Download the Case Study Today

For additional statistics and insights into how AMI and leak detection can help cities like Elmhurst reduce water loss and save on fixed network costs, download the case study in its entirety here.

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