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LOCATING LEAKS WITH ACOUSTIC TECHNOLOGY
Tafuri*, A N. LOCATING LEAKS WITH ACOUSTIC TECHNOLOGY. JOURNAL OF AMERICAN WATER WORKS ASSOCIATION 92(7):57-66, (2000).
Many water distribution systems in this country are almost 100 years old. About 26 percent of piping in these systems is made of unlined cast iron or steel and is in poor condition. Many methods that locate leaks in these pipes are time-consuming, costly, disruptive to operations, and unreliable at finding small leaks. This article presents the results of research conducted at the US Environmental Protection Agency's Urban Watershed Research Facility in Edison, N.J. The project sought ways to use acoustic technology to pinpoint leaks as small as 0.1 gph (0.1 mL/s) in petroleum pipelines, a regulatory requirement for those lines. Because all experiments were conducted using water and on pipelines of size and material similar to those found in many water distribution systems, results also apply to these pipelines. Although leaks of 0.1 gph (0.1 mL/s) are unusually small to search for in water distribution systems, researchers were able to locate small leaks within 1 ft (0.3 m), which is comparable to the best practice of commercially available leak-pinpointing technology for water distribution systems.