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An innovative solution for loss reduction & asset management in trunk mains

Introduction

In the past, the focus for leak detection programs in water delivery systems has been primarily on distribution (reticulation) networks and service connections. Even today, trunk main leaks tend to be addressed only when there is a pipe rupture or when there is visual evidence of the leak above ground. So are leaks from trunk mains a problem?

The introduction of a new leak detection technology, called SmartBall®, has the potential to resolve the uncertainty about the rate of loss, if any, from trunk mains. Following two years of development, the system has been available commercially since June 2007 and experience to date has demonstrated that it a valuable tool for identifying, locating and quantifying leakage. Results indicate that trunk main leakage is indeed a concern for many agencies, and that most leaks are not evident from visual inspection or metering.