Active leak detection is an essential element in reducing ongoing costs and identifying large (potentially catastrophic) leaks within a water network. Often used by large businesses and governments who have large networks that impact a broader community, active leak detection services are designed to identify leaks that do not immediately present themselves during routine water utility inspections.
In most cases, these are “hidden leaks” that occur below the surface and – when left to their own devices – can become a big problem that can cause network interruptions and high repairs costs for governments and business.
How does active leak detection work?
Active leak detection is intended to pinpoint the location of a water network leak or a compromised part of the network. While many people (wrongly) believe that active leak detection is simply a component of a routine water loss management assessment or project – there is more that goes into it than that.
The process is personified by a company or individual contractor going through a water utility network to survey compromised areas and find leaks through acoustic technology and industry specific equipment. The end result may be an increase to the minimum night flow or an increase in output from the treatment works or supply reservoir. Liaising with the company, active leak professionals will help to identify potential savings within a network.
How are leaks actually detected?
Good question! The process of leak detection involves acoustic equipment that can identify and pinpoint leak locations within a water network. A pressurised pipe will create an acoustic signature that is unique to the amount of pressure between the inside and outside of the pipe. The water will, of course, transfer the acoustic signature that pinpoints a leak within a water network.
What equipment is required?
Active leak detection is an expensive industry to get into and requires a whole host of specialist equipment in order to effectively deliver services. Some of the equipment used during the process include ground penetrating radar, amplified acoustic listening sticks, ground microphones, hydrophones, leak noise correlators, and pipe and cable locators. All of this equipment is highly specific and requires a highly trained professional to operate and interpret the results that come through each tool.