Visualizing Reported Water Leaks Using GIS

A number of factors can contribute to a water leak occurring in a community’s water utility system.  In order to better understand how these factors interact, the Village of Woodridge, IL set out to visualize the locations of reported leaks with the help of the village’s Geographic Information Systems (GIS) department in order to better understand their spatial and temporal distribution throughout the community.

The process of tracking water leaks involves Public Works employees filling out a form that tracks the time and location of the leak, who was assigned the work order, and any information related to how the leak was fixed.  Previously, the only way Public Works employees could identify any trends in leaks reported was by relying on memory or viewing each report one by one and organizing them based on location. Using GIS, the Woodridge Public Works Department can now view the locations of each water leak incidents spatially using the village’s interactive mapping application, MapOffice™ Advanced.  This was accomplished by mapping the leak locations tracked in the water leak report and, once these locations were mapped out, linking that location to a scanned copy of the associated leak report in case the user wants to see all the information associated with a specific leak.

Mapping water leaks with GIS and viewing them spatially in relation to each now allows Woodridge Public Works to see water leak trends in the community.  Being able to identify these trends without having to review each leak report one by one will allow the department to make more informed decisions related to budgeting and response, thereby providing better service to village residents.