Locating leaks in large diameter and plastic pipes can be a challenge but acoustic sensors can help utilities and municipalities tackle this problem without the need for expensive above-ground detection technology.

Leaks are a serious concern for water utilities across the world. It is not just a case of water not reaching the end user — leaks are expensive. They force utilities to fill the gaps in supply by drawing on freshwater supplies, thereby impacting aquatic habitats, reducing efficiency in water networks, contributing to future water system failures and allowing contaminants to enter the water supply.

A 2018 study titled Water Main Break Rates in the U.S. and Canada by Professor Steven Folkman of Utah State University found that 16 percent of installed water mains are beyond their useful life and utilities do not have the funds to replace them. Folkman reported that his basic survey gathered data from 201 utilities and that an average of 10 percent of water put into the system was lost due to leakage. In some cases, the scale of water lost through water mains leakage is reaching critical levels of 20 to 30 percent.

Read the full article from Water World.