New System Helps Utility Detect Leaking Pipes

For the technicians of Southern California Water Company (SCWC), a leak locating system has simplified the task of finding underground pipe bursts.

Feb 1st, 2004
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For the technicians of Southern California Water Company (SCWC), a leak locating system has simplified the task of finding underground pipe bursts.

Since introducing the SoundSens multi-point noise correlation system from Radcom Technologies, the company has correctly identified leaks in noisy areas, and on challenging pipe materials like plastic and asbestos cement, in significantly less time than traditional survey methods.

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SCWC uses two kits of six SoundSens correlation pods, which are placed around an area where leakage is suspected. Left to log noise data over a period of time, the self-contained pods perform multiple correlations to identify sources of leak noise. Dedicated software then presents these leak positions overlaid on a schematic of the pipes in the area.

"The icons denoting pods and leaks are self-explanatory, making it easy when first using the product," said Water Loss Control Technician Brian E. Jensen.

Because the process can be carried out without supervision overnight, areas with daytime traffic or construction noise can still be surveyed successfully.

SCWC technicians claim that the system effectively cuts out a time-consuming stage of the leak finding process, noting that the product is not just a correlator, but also a sounding device. In contrast, other systems require the user to sound the network first and then correlate separately.

Southern California Water Company provides water services to 240,000 Californians. With the introduction of SoundSens, it became possible for a technician to survey an entire system containing 42 miles of water main in just a few days.

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