New sonic leak detection technology could make costly roadworks to search for leaking pipes a thing of the past.
Researchers at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, have developed a noise logger tool that can accurately detect leaks.
The technology was developed by a team led by professor Tarek Zayed,from the university’s building, civil and environmental engineering department. The results were published by the American Society of Civil Engineers.
The research was carried out at Qatar University, in a country that has one of the lowest precipitation and highest evaporation rates in the world. Researchers installed 140 noise loggers along its water network and used them to record sound noise generated by leaks over a two-hour time period. They did this over several weeks and then analysed the readings, comparing sound level and sound spread. A consistent anomaly meant a leak investigation was required. When the university’s facilities management team investigated, they found that the team had estimated the leak location with 99.5% accuracy.
“This approach can reduce the duration of a leak, as well as the cost and time involved in locating the site in need of repair,” said Zayed.
The plan is to now collect leak-data surveys of other water networks and to develop customized leak location prediction models.