Two leaks were quickly found when a water distribution network north of Copenhagen had installed smart, new listening device. The utility company Novafos is part of the LEAKman partnership that combines knowledge and technology from nine market-leading players.
Only a few weeks after the installation of the so-called noise loggers in a water distribution network in Klampenborg, two leaks were identified. Thanks to the noise loggers, both leaks were quickly stopped, and that means reduced loss of water, and other potential consequential losses were avoided.
The noise loggers consist of a microphone, a data logger, a battery and an antenna. They are placed at the valves of the water pipes so that they can listen directly to the pipe wall and recognise and separate the noise from a leak from other background noises. When a logger identifies a potential leak, an alarm is sent to the water utility via a radio signal. Then the location of the leak can be determined and the pipe repaired.
In the Klampenborg network which belongs to the utility company Novafos, the recently installed loggers proved to be of value within only few weeks. The water distribution network is being converted into a full-scale demo area with state-of-the-art technology for leakage management.
It takes place within the framework of the LEAKman consortium which is an association of nine market-leading Danish players - among others Grundfos, Kamstrup, AVK, Leif Koch, Schneider Electric, DTU Environment and NIRAS. The partnership is to present Danish solutions for leakage management and pave the way for new technology.
Novafos and HOFOR - two of the largest utility companies on Zealand - both participate as partners in the LEAKman consortium. Each has appointed two distribution networks which during 2017 will be crammed with all the latest technology for leakage management.
When the four demonstration areas are ready, they will be covered by, among other things, 400 permanent noise loggers, 4,800 smart meters at consumers, active pressure control and online monitoring of KPIs.
Out of the total of 400 loggers, 125 have been installed in the Klampenborg network. And had it not been for the loggers, it would most likely have lasted some time before the two leaks had been found.
Before the noise loggers were installed, leaks were found through manual inspections of the distribution network in Klampenborg. These leakage surveys were carried out systematically at least once a year. In a worst-case scenario, the leaks could exist for almost a year before they were discovered. The new loggers mean that the response time has now been dramatically reduced.
Much water can be wasted through a leak during one year, and the leak can also potentially result in major pipe failures which will entail an even bigger water loss and possibly other consequential losses. Therefore, active leakage control is an important step on the road to minimizing water loss.
The water loss level in Danish drinking water distribution networks is below 10 percent on average. That is among the lowest in the world, while in many other countries large quantities of drinking water are wasted. Accordingly, minimizing water losses should be a global focus area.