Electro Scan, a California, US-based pipe condition assessment company, has announced its new patent pending multi-sensor probe that accurately finds and measures water losses.
Water utilities commonly lose 20-30% of their production before delivery to a customer’s meter, with fixing the wrong pipe often costing 10 times more than fixing the right pipe.
Since legacy equipment, like acoustic sensors, data loggers, electro-magnetic sensors, and visual inspections are not able to reliably find water leaks, next generation technologies have been needed to accurately assess water mains and certify their repair.
‘By combining the latest technologies into our 4-in-1 multi-sensor probe, offered as an exclusive service, utilities can quantify each leak’s size, location, and estimated volume as gallons per minute,’ says Chuck Hansen, Electro Scan’s chairman.
Electro Scan’s technology assesses both pressurised and gravity water mains while pipes remain in service.
The company’s patent pending multi-sensor probe includes:
Low Voltage Conductivity Sensor – Measures individual leaks and total defect flows utilising a low voltage conductivity tri-electrode array to find leaking cracks, pinholes, defective joints, bad service connections, and other openings to ground.
High Definition Camera – Assists operators in navigating through water mains and documents leak locations found by low voltage conductivity sensor using a standard 1920x1080 high definition camera recording at 30 frames per second.
Pressure Sensor – Provides location-specific water pressure to assist in calculating defect flow rates.
Acoustic Sensor – Records sound vibrations and provides benchmark of legacy results that can be readily compared to low voltage conductivity results.
‘The Electro Scan 4-in-1 water probe was designed to find leaks not previously found by legacy methods,’ states Mark Grabowski, general manager at Electro Scan. ‘If a pipe leaks electricity, it leaks water. Now we can provide a reliable, repeatable, and measurable solution for the water industry, based on our proven technology already being deployed in the wastewater collection industry.’
Pipe materials best suited for low voltage conductivity surveys include asbestos cement, cement-mortar lined and coated steel pipe, cured in-place pipe, fibreglass reinforced pipe, high-density polyethylene pipe, prestressed concrete cylinder pipe, polyethylene pipe, polyvinyl chloride, and reinforced concrete pipe.
Using a neutrally buoyant fibre optic cable, the probe can evaluate up to 610m of water main from a single point of entry, accessed through fire hydrants, air valves, flow meters, gate valves, and pressure fittings.
‘In the past, acoustic sensors may have suggested locations of general anomalies, but false-positive readings, poor data repeatability, reliance on third party data interpretation, ambient noise from road traffic, water table heights, pipe diameter, and the inability to assess PVC, PE, and HDPE pipes, has limited its usefulness to find non-revenue water losses and optimize CAPEX plans,’ says Carissa Boudwin, director of marketing at Electro Scan.