Experimental evaluation of a vibration-based leak detection technique for water pipelines

Sepideh Yazdekhasti, Kalyan R. Piratla, Sez Atamturktur, Abdul Khan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Conventional water pipeline leak detection surveys employ labour-intensive acoustic techniques, which are usually expensive and not amenable for continuous monitoring of distribution systems. Many previous studies attempted to address these limitations by proposing and evaluating a myriad of continuous, long-term monitoring techniques. However, these techniques have difficulty to identify leaks in the presence of pipeline system complexities (e.g. T-joints), offered limited compatibility with popular pipe materials (e.g. PVC), and were in some cases intrusive in nature. Recently, a non-intrusive pipeline surface vibration-based leak detection technique has been proposed to address some of the limitations of the previous studies. This new technique involves continuous monitoring of the change in the cross-spectral density of surface vibration measured at discrete locations along the pipeline. Previously, the capabilities of this technique have been demonstrated through an experimental campaign carried out on a simple pipeline set-up. This paper presents a follow-up evaluation of the new technique in a real-size experimental looped pipeline system located in a laboratory with complexities, such as junctions, bends and varying pipeline sizes. The results revealed the potential feasibility of the proposed technique to detect and assess the onset of single or multiple leaks in a complex system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)46-55
Number of pages10
JournalStructure and Infrastructure Engineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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