The department is preparing to launch a smartphone application known as SeeClickFix that uses global position systems to pinpoint where running water has been reported.
The system counts on residents to do the reporting.
"They can open the application, capture a GPS location, take a picture, send it to us and it will create a work order," director
The idea is to streamline the reporting of leaky and broken pipes spewing water in abandoned buildings, vacant lots and other places.
The department has a goal of responding to complaints of running water within 48 hours, which it met on 90% of complaints in December, McCormick said. But she acknowledges that the number of reports is likely to rise when it becomes easier to report them.
"We may be only at the tip of the iceberg in terms of getting reports," she said.
The app is part of a six-point plan to reduce water loss in the system.
Water utilities around the country typically lose about 10% of the water they produce to leaky pipes and other problems, but
The lost water represents lost money because the department pays to purify it but then can't bill anyone for it. Some of the leaks that occur underground end up feeding water into the sewer system, which then has to be treated again, driving up costs.
The department also plans to place decals on all of its vehicles with a phone number that can be used to report water leaks.
"We have no way of knowing, unless they are reported by the public," McCormick said.
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