Show Details

Noisy Leaks

June 30, 2016

Listening to subterranean municipal plumbing to track down wasteful water leaks.

Transcript

BOB HIRSHON (host):

Listening for leaks. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Drinking water is becoming increasingly precious, but as much as 30% of it is lost to leaky underground pipes. Microphones installed in pipe cutoff valves can listen for leaks, but can’t pinpoint them. Now Concordia engineer Tarek Zayed reports in a paper for the American Society of Civil Engineers on a system that analyzes the sounds, and predicts leak locations to within 80 centimeters.

TAREK ZAYED (Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada):

Once there will be a leak recognized, then it will actually give you a location on a GIS for you to decide exactly that there is a leak in this area and then for you to go ahead and fix it.

HIRSHON:

He says in a recent test in the Middle Eastern city of Doha, Qatar, the system located leaks with an accuracy of 99.5%. But he says the technology still needs testing and refinement in a variety of locations and conditions. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.

Story by Bob Hirshon