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Detection of Leak Holes in Underground Drinking Water Pipelines using Acoustic and Proximity Sensing Systems

Author Affiliations

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

Res. J. Engineering Sci., Volume 3, Issue (9), Pages 1-6, September,26 (2014)


Unwanted water leakage due to leaky pipelines is almost always pertaining in drinking water supply networks. Since the supply networks are usually underground this problem becomes more challenging. To help resolve such problem, this paper studies the possibilities of remote monitoring and detection of unwanted leaks in the underground drinking water pipelines from surface using an acoustic and proximity sensor systems. The acoustic and proximity sensing uses audio and vibration noises produced during burst of water from the leak in the pipeline. A modeled water distribution system with known leaks is first used to test the performance of these sensor systems and then applied in some pilot areas of the public water supplying pipeline system of Kathmandu, popularly known as Kathmandu Upatayaka Khanepani Limited (KUKL). Results from both modeled and the real distribution systems confirm the performance of sensor system to identify a numbers of the underground leak hole remotely from surface, which are later confirmed by digging with KUKL authority. The paper presents the result of one of those studies which provides a proof of remote tracking of underground water supply leaks. Moreover, the research indicates that if a distributed network of such sensor system and a point-to-point dedicated communication networking is considered, a real-time automated remote monitoring of a water distribution networks over a large area can be possible to track any unseen leaks in underground pipelines.


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