The research and development will allow engineers to test new solutions, showcase capabilities for visiting water utilities and other customers and provide operators with hands-on training experiences.
Echologics has opened a new innovation site dedicated to testing “smart” solutions for leak detection and pipe condition assessment, representing a commitment to addressing the growing challenge of aging water main infrastructure.
The research and development (R&D) center, which is located in Walkerton, Ontario, Canada, will allow Echologics’ engineers to test new solutions, showcase capabilities for visiting water utilities and other customers and provide operators with hands-on training experiences.
An affiliate of Mueller Co., Echologics is a developer and provider of smart water technologies, including acoustic-based technologies for leak detection, pipe condition assessment and water loss management, which allow water utilities to intelligently manage their assets.
“This R&D center will help us rapidly advance new technologies and demonstrate solutions that give our customers access to the data they need to make educated and cost-effective decisions about their water networks, including asset management plans and infrastructure replacement investments,” said Marc Bracken, vice president and general manager of Echologics.
“Ontario congratulates Echologics for establishing a research and training facility in Walkerton, Ontario,” said Reza Moridi, Ontario’s Minister of Research and Innovation. “Ontario’s water sector continues to be a priority for the province, and by establishing this site, Echologics demonstrates that it shares our commitment to protecting the water supply for generations.”
The site features real life applications for water infrastructure technology, including more than 2,000 feet of plastic and metallic water mains with diameters ranging from 6 to 16 in. It also includes a pump house that creates and maintains pressure conditions commonly found in municipal and industrial facilities and settings. Water network connections at the site are provided by Mueller and include fire hydrants, resilient wedge gate valves, automatic flushing systems and service connection.
The site will also serve as a training and certification facility for engineers and field staff from Echologics and other Mueller Water Products’ affiliates, as well as business partners and utilities. The site is designed to enable field teams and operators to gain considerable experience with field assets, leak detection scenarios and pipeline condition assessment technologies under controlled conditions.