NSSN partnering with universities and water utilities in advanced leak detection research

Australian water utilities are developing smart sensing projects in condition assessment and leak detection to prevent breaks in critical water pipe infrastructure.

Co-ordinated by the NSW Smart Sensing Network (NSSN), the collaboration brings together several research universities together with key water utilities in five sub-projects: Quantum sensing, distributed in-pipe sensing, advanced acoustic and pressure transient sensing, data analytics and LiDAR soil moisture measurement and corrosion prediction.

The NSSN university research partners involved in the smart sensing for leaks and breaks project include the Australian National University, the University of Canberra, UNSW, UTS and the University of Newcastle.

The overall purpose of the projects is demonstration of the feasibility of quantum techniques in leak detection, the operation of hydrophone arrays in pinhole leaks detection, the use of precise data analytics to enhance critical pipe failure prediction rates with new sensing modes and models, the adaption of best practices in critical pipe leak acoustics and condition monitoring, and the demonstration of LiDAR measurements correlation with soil moisture and pipe corrosion.

A $1 million commitment from Sydney Water leads the funding for this project. Further contributions as part of the NSSN industry fund, Australian water utilities, and international partners bring the full resourcing of this project to nearly $3.4 million. Other industry partners include Downer, Hunter Water, Intelligent Water Networks, Melbourne Water, UKWIR, Queensland Urban Facilities, SA Water and Water NSW.