Singing sewer technology saves water for Utah

Sep 27, 2022, 7:04 PM | Updated: 7:04 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Technology being used underground across Utah is saving the state a lot of water.

In Utah, 60 cities use the sewer line rapid assessment tool or SL-RAT, and RH Borden and Co. President Jon Borden said that number is growing. His company is the service provider of the technology for the state.

“Using this technology, we can be much more conservation-minded and really save a lot of water for the state,” he said.

The SL-RAT keeps crews above ground and the dirty work down below.

“We have this problem with overflows. The sewer will back up because of fat, oils, and grease and will cause the water to come out,” said Dr. Ivan Howitt, the inventor.

He created the singing technology to find a more efficient way to select pipes that need to be cleaned or have maintenance work done.

“There’s somewhere in the neighborhood of 15-20,000 miles of sewer pipe in the state of Utah,” Alex Churchill, president of Infosense, said. His company manufactures the SL-RATs.

Churchill said the majority of those pipes don’t need to be cleaned.

“Estimated water use in Utah is 130 million gallons per year,” Borden said.

That’s if crews are using the traditional method to test whether a pipe is blocked or collapsed.

“If we use acoustics, we can cut that down to 13, so just one-tenth of what we’re currently using,” he said. “That saves us 117 million gallons of water.”

‘It’s aliens!:’ Sewer technology causes mysterious music in homes, toilets

Magna was the first city in Utah to adopt this technology. Since then, Borden has been gathering data on how much water it’s saved the state.

“I love the outdoors, I have a family, I love to take my kids out there,” he said. “When I think about what could happen if we don’t properly watch our water usage, it’s pretty dramatic to me.”

It also cuts down on emissions. Using the SL-RAT, trucks don’t have to idle for hours every day.

“In traditional ways, it would take 260 truck days to clean 100 miles; we can pair that down to 26 truck days,” Borden explained.

It’s a process that’s out of sight, out of mind for most people, but once they hear it and hear about the millions of gallons of water it saves, it means more.

“I want this beautiful state to be in place for years to come, so it’s very rewarding to say I’m doing a little bit to help out on that whole puzzle that we’re all struggling with,” Borden said.

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

[File] Utah Highway Patrol State Trooper car (Laura Seitz, Deseret News)...

Larry D. Curtis

Child struck, critically injured by tractor near Coalville

A tractor hit a 5-year-old boy who darted into the road, critically injuring the child.

1 year ago

(FILE) Police vehicles are parked outside the South Jordan Police Department on Friday, April 24, 2...

Michael Houck

Police: Three teens hospitalized after crashing into wall in South Jordan

Three teenagers were injured after crashing into a concrete wall Tuesday morning, police say.

1 year ago

Elephants Zuri and Christie will be transferred from Utah's Hogle Zoo to another accredited facilti...

Josh Ellis

Elephants leaving Utah’s Hogle Zoo after more than 100 years of care

Utah's Hogle Zoo elephants Christie and Zuri will be transferred to another accredited zoo, ending the zoo's continuous care of elephants after more than 100 years.

1 year ago

The town of Hideout wants to annex hundreds of acres from Summit County and Wasatch County, includi...

Michael Houck

Landowners in-between Hideout and Kamas file for township

A group of Summit County landowners filed to incorporate as a new town called West Hills Tuesday.

1 year ago

(Chopper 5)...

Debbie Worthen

Residents meet with Draper leaders to find out what’s next for neighborhood after landslide

Dozens of Suncrest residents met with Draper city leaders for a town hall-style meeting two weeks after the ground below two homes collapsed and sent them sliding down the mountainside.

1 year ago

Flooding temporarily closed state Route 39 in Ogden Canyon Tuesday morning. (Utah Department of Pub...

Josh Ellis

Utah roads, parks close due to flooding and high runoff levels

Several roads were closed due to flooding Tuesday morning, and warm temperatures will keep rivers and creeks running high throughout the day.

1 year ago

Sponsored Articles

Stack of old laptops with dark background...

PC Laptops

Old Laptop Upgrades You Need to Try Before Throwing it Away

Get the most out of your investment. Try these old laptop upgrades before throwing it out to keep it running fast and efficient.

Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...

BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.

Close up of an offset printing machine during production...

Les Olson IT

Top 7 Reasons to Add a Production Printer to Your Business

Learn about the different digital production printers and how they can help your company save time and money.

vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...

Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.

Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...

Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.

notebook with password notes highlighted...

PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.

Singing sewer technology saves water for Utah