Water pipes transport clean drinking water to the consumer. A common issue with transporting water in this way is the threat of leaks which results in valuable water supply going to waste. Leak detection surveys determine if and where a possible leak exists on a supply line.
Determining the origin of a leak can vary in complexity, the main factors which vary the complexity of detecting the origins of a leak are as follows:
The Leak Rate – the amount of water which is being lost from the system over a specific amount of time
The Pipe Material - Pipes can be manufactured using a variety of different materials. The most commonly used materials would include PVC (polyvinyl chloride), copper, steel and concrete.
Pipe Location – Pipes are usually found to be underground for convenience and protection from atmospheric conditions like frost and ice. The further below the surface the water pipe lies the harder it becomes to detect the leak location.
Water leaking at a high rate from an underground water supply
To solve for these challenges a number of methods and equipment can be used. However, these require well trained and experienced personnel. Each one of these methods is suited to specific material types. Some of the methods used include:
- Ground Microphones
- Pulse Wave Generators
- Hydrogen Gas Systems
- Flow and Pressure Loggers
- Flow Meters
Data Logger and Ground Microphone used in located and determining if a leak is present
Using the equipment listed above it is possible to quickly survey water networks, including pipe work and fixtures, and then pinpoint areas with leaks.