X-ray machines use electromagnetic radiation to "see" through skin and muscle and zero in on the calcium in bones. Similarly, Utilis Inc. uses L-band microwaves to "see" through trees, pavement, and grass to find soil that's been saturated with treated drinking water.

The company's algorithms scan millions of satellite images for the spectral “signature” of treated drinking water, which differs from rain and sewage, overlays the results on a water utility's GIS. Thousands of square miles of territory are analyzed to identify leaks of one-half to one liter per hour to within 150 feet. Customers receive graphic and/or tabular report containing location and estimated size of suspected leaks that can then be verified in the field.

Reports are provided monthly, quarterly, or semi-yearly. Benefits include early detection and repair verification. Repeatedly updating the reports improves accuracy of findings, enabling utilities to refine operational work-plans.