Leakage in water distribution networks is a growing environmental concern because of water resource shortages. Leakage can reduce the water volume which may have already been purified, or it can be a safety issue as a result of infection agents being introduced. Techniques have been developed to identify leakages, and strategies applied to reduce the volume of water loss. While a number of these are effective, they can be expensive, time-consuming and require extensive training. A new study in the Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management, “Leakage Detection and Localization in a Water Distribution Network through Comparison of Observed and Simulated Pressure Data” looks to identify methods that can detect and localize leakage events and compare their performance and efficiency, without requiring special training and equipment.

Authors Irene Marzola, Filippo Mazzoni, Stefano Alvisi, and Marco Franchini propose a methodology for detecting and localizing leakages in a water distribution network based on the hydraulic model of the network. Learn more about their research and in the abstract below, or by reading the full paper in the ASCE Library, https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)WR.1943-5452.0001503.


In this paper, a pragmatic approach for leakage detection and localization is presented to solve the problem introduced within the framework of the Battle of the Leakage Detection and Isolation Methods (BattLeDIM). The method is based on the application of the hydraulic model of the water distribution network and the comparison of simulated pressures against the corresponding values observed in field. In particular, it consists of two phases: (1) calibration of the hydraulic model of the network; and (2) detection and localization of the leakages affecting the water distribution network through the application of engineering judgment and the adoption of an enumerative procedure. The method was applied to the case-study network of L-Town, enabling 16 of 23 leakages to be efficiently detected and 11 of these also accurately localized. The proposed method is simple and transparent and can aid water utilities in water leakage management.

Read the full paper in the ASCE Library: https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)WR.1943-5452.0001503