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Modernizing hydrant leak and water theft reporting

The Challenge

United Water provides comprehensive, sustainable water and waste water management solutions that promote public, economic, and environmental health. As both a utility owner and a contract services operator, United Water tailors management and operational strategies to local needs and expectations.

Hydrant leaks and theft of water resources are two significant challenges United Water has faced in the last several years. Customers were reluctant to report leaks or suspicious activity as there was no clear path for them to do so.

If they did report this activity, agents at the call center did not always receive accurate information about the location. In cases of water theft, the perpetrators were often gone by the time United Water employees reached the area.

United Water wanted to use modern technology to arm and educate their customers about leaky hydrants and water theft. They enlisted InnoviMobile to help build an application to solve this problem.

The Solution

InnoviMobile built a mobile application that utilized location services built into modern smartphones. The application was developed and deployed to provide a reporting mechanism for United Water employees and customers.

The solution works by taking pictures using a camera, capturing the geo-coordinates of the incident, and sending the data to United Water’s data center application for incident tracking.

In cases where there is theft of water, the camera also captures the identity of the perpetrators by identifying equipment, vehicles, or personnel in the area. This data could now be used to obtain restitution for theft of services.

The Results

The mobile application met United Water’s goal – they now provide an easy to use tool for employees and customers that includes reporting capabilities as well as educational content about water conservation.

News of the applications deployment provided a deterrent effect to those who considered stealing water from United Water’s hydrants.

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