4 Organizations That Swear by Underground Leak Detection

Water Leak

Imagine this: Every home in America, every year, just dumping the contents of a swimming pool onto its lawn. That’s exactly what happens, thanks to leaks. But fixing a drippy faucet is one thing; fixing your underground pipes is another matter. Underground leak detection is a valuable tool for any individual or business looking to save and protect water, like these four organizations.

#1) The Seattle Public Works Department

After September 11th, the city of Seattle decided to protect their city’s water supply by moving it from open air reservoirs to underground concrete vaults. The water is very well protected, but building what amounts to four underground lakes, holding a combined 145 million gallons of water, is no easy task, especially when those reservoirs are covered with dirt and trees to make public spaces.

In order to prevent damage from underground leakage, the city uses underground leak detection to spot problems and nip them in the bud. It’s already come in handy, as they had to replace a waterproof membrane applied to several reservoirs.

#2) Sensus

Sensus is a utility infrastructure company: They’re the folks that build the pipes and sewers used by cities and towns across the world. Needless to say, handling both drinking water and waste water means their systems have to be leak free. The former is wasteful, racking up water costs, and the latter is actively dangerous, possibly introducing pathogens and other dangers into the surrounding soil. Billions of dollars, and even lives, can be at stake when putting these systems in place.

Using a mix of underground radar, thermal imaging, acoustic sensors, and other tools, they are able to find, isolate and plug leaks; saving their customers 40% of the water running through their pipes, and more than $12 billion a year.

#3) The Italian Government

Italy is in a rare position in Europe: It has thousands of buildings that are both regularly used for their standard purposes, and also serve as towering monuments of architecture and art. This poses serious problems, however, as delicate structures, ornate designs, and even some types of ancient building materials (such as limestone) can easily be ruined by a leak caught too late. It’s both a loss to Italy’s tourism industry and a blow to human history and culture whenever a monument to our past is damaged or lost, and the Italian government is determined to limit these as much as possible.

So Italy monitors its national treasures using radar and thermal imaging, both to scan for underground leaks and to look for other infrastructure problems, such as airflow issues. It’s a small price to pay to protect Italy’s artistic and historical heritage.

Infrared Monitoring in Art Museums

#4) New Zealand’s Queenstown Lakes

New Zealand is notorious for a mix of difficult weather. One of the problems has been drought, and the Queenstown Lakes district has started doing something about it.

The town discovered that 47% of its water was going out of its pipes and into the ground, costing them $10 million a year. The solution: Track which homes had high water usage during off-peak hours, and then have the homeowners fix the leaks. Underground leak detection will help find the flaws in the pipes and, more importantly, ensure that they’re fixed.

Underground leaks are hard to spot and waste a whole lot of money: Fortunately, it’s not a cost you have to eat. Tools such as ground penetrating radar and infrared inspection allow you to protect your house and business, not to mention saving some money into the bargain.