Electro Scan, which develops water leak detection instrumentation, says its technology can automatically identified any water leak at a pipe joint, service connection, pinhole or crack in a pipe wall without operator interpretation or third-party data analysis.
As California enters its fourth year of drought conditions, the technology is especially timely and can help utilities save water, says Chuck Hansen, Electro Scan chairman. He says an 8 percent water loss from leakage is equivalent to losing a one-month supply of water; most utilities experience between 10 percent and 30 percent in water losses each year.
Releasing a focused array of low-voltage high-frequency electrical current (40 milliamps) inside a water pipe, Electro Scan’s international patent-pending technology records data such as distance, water pressure, total current, and defect measurements every 14 milliseconds.
Often recording between 14,000 to 20,000 data points for each 300ft (100m) length of pipe, data is automatically stored on a mobile field device and transmitted to the company’s CriticalH2O cloud application with detailed reports available in minutes.
Acoustic inspection equipment, such as noise loggers, listening devices, and leak noise correlators, have been traditionally used to find general locations of pipe anomalies; however, ambient noise from road traffic, water table heights, pipe material, pipe diameter, leak size, experience of the operator, recurring false-positive readings, lack of repeatability, requirement for third party data interpretation, and lengthy end-user reporting requirements limits the use of acoustic and other non-acoustic techniques to accurately locate and measure water leaks, the company says.