Exacerbating the imbalance between demand for freshwater and available water resources is the sub-optimal performance of water distribution systems, which are plagued with leaks that cause significant losses of treated freshwater. This paper presents an approach for leak detection that involves continuous monitoring of the changes in the correlation between surface acceleration measured at discrete locations along the pipeline length. A metric called leak detection index is formulated based on cross-spectral density of measured pipe surface accelerations for detecting the onset and assessing the severity of leaks. The proposed non-invasive approach requires minimal human intervention and works under normal operating conditions of the pipeline system without causing any operational disturbances. The approach is demonstrated on a 76 mm diameter polyvinyl chloride pipeline test system considering varying leak severities. The preliminary results presented in this paper seem promising and lead to several interesting questions that will require further research.
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