Singing sewer technology saves water for Utah

Salt Lake City – The technology used underground in Utah saves a lot of water for the state.

In Utah, 60 cities use the Sewer Rapid Assessment Tool, or SL-RAT, and that number is growing, said RH Borden and Co. President Jon Borden. His company is a national technology service provider.

“Using this technology, we can be more conservation conscious and really save a lot of water for the country,” he said.

SL-RAT keeps workers above ground and dirty work underground.

“We have this overflow problem. Sewers can get clogged with fat, oil and grease and cause water to flow out,” said Dr. Ivan Howitt, inventor.

He created the singing technique to find a more efficient way to select pipes that need cleaning or maintenance work done.

“There are 15-20,000 miles of sewers around Utah,” said Alex Churchill, president of Infosense. His company makes the SL-RAT.

Churchill said that most of these pipes do not need cleaning.

“Utah’s water consumption is estimated at 130 million gallons per year,” Bodden said.

That is, if crews are using traditional methods to test for blocked or collapsed pipes.

“If we use acoustics, we can reduce that to 13, so it’s only a tenth of what we’re currently using,” he said. “That saved us 117 million gallons of water.”

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Magna is the first city in Utah to adopt the technology. Since then, Boden has been collecting data on how much water it saves the state.

“I love the outdoors, I have a family, and I love taking my kids out,” he said. “It’s very dramatic to me when I think about what can happen if we don’t pay attention to our water usage properly.”

It also reduces emissions. With SL-RAT, trucks don’t have to sit idle for hours a day.

“Traditionally, it takes 260 truck days to clean 100 miles; we can reduce that to 26 truck days,” explains Borden.

For most people, it’s an invisible, unthinkable process, but once they hear and hear it saves millions of gallons of water, it means more.

“I want this beautiful state to be here for years to come, so it’s very rewarding to say that I’m doing a little bit of helping with the whole puzzle that we’re all grappling with,” Bodden said.

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