Active Leak Detection – A Beginners Guide

Active Leak Detection is one of the major challenges faced by water utilities companies when it comes to maintenance and general operation. Leakage generally occurs underground and is hidden from view until something substantial happens. Left untreated, these underground leaks can result in huge impact for the local community and for water utility providers. 


The water utility companies in Australia and globally in Active Leak Detection services that can identify and detect leaks before they become an enormous, and costly issue. Detection specialists are tasked with addressing leaking pipes and providing solutions before the problem becomes out of control. 


Key Considerations in Active Leak Detection


There’s more to leak detection than placing your ear to the ground and waiting for irregularities to spike up. Industry leading equipment including listening sticks, leak noise correlation tools, and acoustic leak detection devices are the tools of the trade for an ALD specialist.


Even with the right tools, there are a number of key factors that must be taken into consideration when conducting research and assessment. Some of these factors include:


  • Complexity of the leak


There is a myriad of different factors that can cause a leak to occur. Some of the most common reasons include the age of the pipe, the condition of the pipe, the service intervals of the pipe network, the traffic load of the pipe, pressure, and pipe material. For a professional, these are all factors that are considered and weighed up when finding a solution for the problem. 


  • Risk of leaking


It is important to consider all of the factors that may have led to the degeneration and eventual leak of the pipe in question. When examining the leaking status, it quickly becomes evident that each pipe is unique and will be presented with its own unique set of challenges. 

Solution and Future Prevention


Moving forward, the major factor to consider is how to create a future proof plan for the pipe and implement a plan to minimise leak incidence. The three-step plan for moving forward is as follows:

  1. Understand the problem


Before moving forward to a solution, it is important to understand the factors that have caused the leak and necessitated the assistance of an active leak detection professional. 


  1. Future analysis


Implementing the solution is one thing, understanding future risk is another. Before the solution has been implemented, it is important to weigh up the probability of any future issues with the pipe network.


  1. Optimised zone selection

The pipe network should be selected on the basis of the leaking status as well as the economic cost to the utility company and the community. 

Moving Forward

The active leak detection industry is maturing at a rapid rate. Advancements in technology and improved detection methods mean that the utility companies can effectively mitigate loss and network disruption with the help of ALD professionals.


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