New technology uses TV trucks to detect sewer leaks

The Water Environment Federation awarded Electro Scan the 2013 Innovative Technology Award for its ES-620 leak detection product.

SACRAMENTO, CA, July 30, 2013 -- The Water Environment Federation (WEF) has recently selected Electro Scan Inc., a global innovator of leak detection instrumentation and cloud computing applications, as the recipient of the 2013 Innovative Technology Award for the company's ES-620 leak detection product, an add-on to existing television inspection trucks that accurately locates and measures leaks in sewers, not visible by high-resolution CCTV cameras.

Electro Scan uses its patent-pending technology to generate an intense, focused array of low-voltage/high-frequency electrical current to examine the walls of pipes for defects. If a pipe is in good condition, no current will be able to leak out of the pipe and into the ground, unless there is a crack. All bad joints, defective service connections and breaks in pipes are found by Electro Scan, not typically seen or recorded by visual inspection, laser profiling, sonar, or ground-penetrating radar.

Designed to integrate with existing CCTV trucks, data from the Electro Scan probe is fed back via the truck's existing cable to the company's proprietary control unit and then uploaded to the Electro Scan Cloud.

A benchmark comparison of water pressure testing and Electro Scan was conducted in 2012 at the Milwaukee Metro Sewer District (MMSD). In a project jointly sponsored by the Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) and the USEPA, the study specifically compared Electro Scan to a number of condition assessment techniques to evaluate sewer laterals. While pressure testing identified a sewer lateral as PASSING, or without leaks, Electro Scan found a significant number of leaks on the same pipe, including accurately locating specific defect locations, size, and estimated peak Gallons per Minute (GPM). Encrustations at defective joints had temporarily re-sealed defects in the lateral causing pressure testing to record a False-Positive result. As part of the same study, Electro Scan found 555 defects compared to 160 defects found with CCTV, evaluating the same pipes in a single residential survey area.

The worldwide market for televising sewers represents nearly 15,000 CCTV trucks, excluding push cameras for evaluating smaller diameter pipes. Representing a budgeted upgrade cost of approximately $150,000, authorized worldwide Electro Scan Dealers can install Electro Scan in new and existing television trucks, allowing field operators to switch from CCTV to Electro Scan, and back again, within minutes.

Advantages of the Electro Scan technology include its ability to scan pipes that are either full or partially full of water and provide automated leak detection information, including location to the nearest 0.4 inches (1 cm) and estimated peak GPM. While CCTV cameras are rarely, if ever, used during wet weather, Electro Scan, combined with CCTV, provides a year-round solution.
Electro Scan products are designed in accordance with ASTM Standard 2550-06 to assess non-conductive pipe materials (e.g. asbestos cement, brick, clay, plastic, resin lining, reinforced concrete, etc.).

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