Location and Leak Detection

Location and Leak Detection
Aclara

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Unit smokes out leaks

Problem

The strong smell of sewer gas forced management to close a golf clubhouse in Chicago, Ill. Unless the situation was resolved quickly, they would have to cancel or reschedule activities. They called a local plumbing contractor.

Solution

The contractor connected the discharge hose of a Power Smoker 2 from Hurco Technologies to a clean-out in the plumbing system, then forced a laboratory-tested safe and clean smoke through the pipes to locate the leak in a wall near the kitchen.

Result

The contractor found and repaired the leak in less than two hours. It was business as usual for the clubhouse. 800/888-1436; www.gethurco.com

Leak detector prevents demolition

Problem

The maintenance provider at the Anna (Texas) Middle School called Bryan Spencer of Spencer Plumbing Co. after water surfaced in the parking lot.

Solution

Spencer used the Gen-Ear acoustical leak detection system with filter, headphone and sensor technologies from General Pipe Cleaners. Designed for cast iron, copper, steel and PVC lines, the locator detected two problems. "We fixed a small inside leak, then traced its source to an open field near the school," says Spencer. The leak channeled water down a ditch and beneath the parking lot, where it surfaced.

Result

"By pinpointing the problems so clearly and quickly, we saved the client thousands in demolition and repair work," says Spencer. "Gen-Ear is serving our customers and our business very well." 800/245-6200; www.drainbrain.com/genear

Leak detection system passes test

Problem

More than 300 miles of water mains in the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority are more than 100 years old. The utility wanted them evaluated for leaks.

Solution

The district chose the STAR ZoneScan leak-detection system from Aclara for a pilot project to locate suspected leaks in a four-block area. Workers placed acoustic sensing devices from Gutermann International on valves to monitor and analyze noise characteristics in the pipes. They used the fixed STAR Network AMI system for daily data collection. It automatically took readings in the middle of the night when they would be most accurate.

Result

The project located one leak that was verified and repaired, and pinpointed a probable leak. 800/297-2728; http://bit.ly/STARZoneScan

Rapid inspection device uses acoustics

Problem

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities Division in Charlotte, N.C., wanted to reduce sewer overflows without cleaning the entire 4,100-mile system. Officials searched for ways to determine blockages quickly and at a cost relative to CCTV inspections.

Solution

The division selected the Sewer Line Rapid Assessment Tool from InfoSense. The transmitter, placed in an open manhole, transmits tones. In a downstream manhole, the receiver compares the tones with sounds it should hear in a clean pipe. If the signal is degraded, algorithms analyze it and present the operator with a simple assessment in real time on a scale of zero to 10. The acoustic inspection takes less than three minutes without contacting the waste stream.

Result

Two operators working independently inspected 52,000 feet of gravity sewer for blockages in less than two weeks. Only 42 percent of the pipe required cleaning. The labor saved by not cleaning 100 percent of the line paid for the inspection devices. Operators have inspected almost a million feet of pipe so far. The technology won the 2012 Water Environment Federation Innovative Technology Award. 877/747-3245; www.infosenseinc.com

Leak detection saves 7.2 mgd

Problem

Large-diameter water transmission mains in Dallas, Texas, develop leaks in summer as drying soil shifts the pipelines. The Dallas Water Utilities, which service 2.4 million customers, wanted to begin a leak detection program.

Solution

The city chose the Sahara system from Pure Technologies. Controlled from the surface, the inspection tool flows with the water, detecting leaks at the source in real time by identifying acoustic anomalies.

Result

Since the program began in 2004, technicians have found 116 leaks estimated at 7.2 mgd, and reduced catastrophic water main failures by 17 percent. 855/280-7873; www.puretechltd.com

Fast and accurate locations

Problem

For months, technicians at Rockford (Mich.) Water tried to locate and repair a water pipe running to a fire hydrant.

Solution

Rick Kleopfer and Steve Beale from C&S Solutions, the Radiodetection distributor for the area, proposed using the RD8000PDL multi-function pipe and cable locator and Tx transmitter. Kleopfer and Beale set the equipment to 8 kHz and used both the Compass and Peak and Null modes to send the signal 800 feet along the pipe. The Peak and Null mode identified field distortion due to ground conditions or nearby utilities. The Compass feature visually indicated the pipe's direction, enabling the operators to follow the line and position the locator. The unit indicated the pipe to be around 3 feet deep. Workers then exposed the pipe exactly where the locator said it would be.

Result

Dennis Brinks of Rockford Water was impressed with the speed and accuracy of the project. "In a few minutes, C&S Solutions solved a problem that we had battled for more than a year," he says. 877/247 3797; www.radiodetection.com



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