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Study on Discovering Seepage in Buried Water Distribution Conduits via Microwave Technology

Author Affiliations

  • 1 Department of Electronics and Computer Engineering, Institute of Engineering, Pulchowk Campus, Tribhuvan University, NEPAL
  • 2 Bhaktapur Multiple Campus, Tribhuvan University, NEPAL

Res. J. Engineering Sci., Volume 3, Issue (10), Pages 1-6, October,26 (2014)


Water loss from corroded, wrecked, or leaky underground pipelines is a global crisis. Water supply channels crisscrossing beneath the ground are the main transporters of drinking water. The populations of developing and underdeveloped nations are the major sufferers of water borne diseases due to pollution creeping into dilapidated water delivery pipes. The sub terrain location of water conduits increases the difficulty of gauging their operating conditions and immediately administering repair work. The intent of this study is to be able to map out leakage points in buried waterways without having to unearth the entire structure. In order to accomplish the above mentioned goal, this study relies on microwave sensing techniques with transceivers operating at frequencies of 1.6 GHz ad 10 GHz. The unique and differing transmittance profile of microwaves helped differentiate moist and dry soil. Transmittance measurements in the lab using plastic boxes filled with dry and wet mud provided a clear distinction between the two kinds of mud. The idea was further tested in a mock-up pipeline system, where an arrangement of galvanized iron (G.I.) pipes with holes, to simulate water leakage, was used to wet a certain area of the ground. Transmittance profiles for both 1.6 GHz and 10 GHz frequencies in wet and dry ground areas were obtained and analyzed. Outcomes from both the laboratory setup and the pipeline network show that moist mud can be differentiated from dry mud using microwave transmittance methodology. These results indicate the possibility of a convenient and practical technique of locating pipeline leaks occurring beneath the surface.


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