Acoustic sensors identify leaks in Italian water pipeline

Sept. 17, 2020
Aquarius Spectrum's successful pilot project will continue, providing Brescia with 235 acoustic sensors in its network.

ITALY -- Founded in 2008, A2A S.p.A. is considered the biggest multi-utility in Italy with more than 12,000 employees; 6.5B annual Rev. It generates, distributes and markets renewable energy, electricity, gas, integrated water supply and waste management services. From its headquarters in Brescia, Italy, A2A Ciclo Idrico (a company of the A2A Group) operates more than 3,000 kilometer of iron water pipes, serving citizens in the Municipalities of Brescia and neighbor towns.

As part of A2A intensive efforts to increase their efficiency, they have looked for advanced technologies that will enable them to reduce their water loss and energy costs. A2A were impressed from the solutions offered by Aquarius Spectrum, an innovative Israeli company. Based on their robust design of acoustic sensors and cloud-based software that analyses the data received, Aquarius can trace all the hidden leaks in the water supply network’s pipes and calculate their exact location. In addition to the leak detection, Aquarius’ system can offer assessment of pipes condition.  

During September 2019, the company initiated a leak detection pilot with Aquarius which was carried out in Brescia City.  Based on A2A’s GIS data, Aquarius planning department prepared a detailed plan for 39 belowground acoustic correlating sensors that covers around 15 km of pipes.

Following the planning phase, the sensors were installed by Aquarius technician engineer Ehud Ben-Menahem accompanied with A2A local team.

It should be noted that the pilot site is close to Brescia’s football stadium and despite heavy traffic disruptions due to an important match, within 2 days all 39 sensors were installed and activated.

During the first week, 10 hidden leaks were found. One of them was a huge leak that has surfaced the ground within a few hours from its time of detection. Final step of the pilot was verification and pinpointing of POI raised by the AQS-SYS.  A2A team together with Aquarius technician used Aquarius' mobile leak detection equipment- the iQuarius™. This system is first of its kind in the world, allowing non-expert field personnel to perform manual leak surveys, pipe listening and correlation- with all equipment packed into a portable, easy-to-carry and operational kit. In total, 20 leaks have been verified and fixed in just a few months.

Thanks to the successful pilot, the utility has purchased 235 AQS acoustic sensors that will allow it to continue monitoring the current area and to expand to additional areas. The project continues to be accompanied by the support of Aquarius' technical team.

Oded Fruchtman, CEO of Aquarius, said “We are honored to work with Italy's largest multi-utility and to lead innovation in the water industry together with A2A Ciclo Idrico. We were delighted with the initiative that came from Manuel Intini, from the Innovation team of A2A, who visited Israel and met the Aquarius team. We also cherish Stefania Giacomelli, Luca Massafra and Anthony Napolitano's from A2A's Water Network Operations Unit, for their professional support throughout the project. Hopefully we will have more common successes in the future as well.”

Tullio Montagnoli, CEO of A2A Ciclo Idrico noted that, "As a veteran company in the water market, we are closely acquainted with the challenges of leakage and know quite a few technologies and solutions in this area. We are very glad with our decision to go with Aquarius' proven technology by which we achieved great immediate and accurate results in a short time. The Aquarius professional team also show great dedication and responsibility for our projects at all stages".

Aquarius’ solutions enable Water Utilities to proactively monitor their network, trace leaks and pinpoint their exact locations automatically on a daily basis while analyzing condition of pipes. To date, the company’s technology is monitoring thousands of miles of municipal water pipelines, helping Water Utilities reduce their Non-Revenue-Water (NRW) and their Maintenance and Operational (M&O) costs by using highly sensitive fixed and mobile acoustic sensors while applying big data analytics. All this results in billions of gallons of water savings. For more information: or [email protected].

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