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The University of Southampton

Research project: Hydrant Dynamics for Leak Detection

Currently Active: 

Investigating the structural dynamics of the hydrant system to better leak detection measurements.

Leaks in water distribution networks are one of the main contributors to water loss. For many years, acoustic methods have been used to reduce this problem. The method has been found to be most effective when locating leaks in metal pipes rather than plastic pipes due to the high damping within the pipe wall. A commonly used acoustic method is the cross-correlation method. Sensors are placed on either side of the suspected leak, usually on hydrants, and the peak of the cross-correlation function of the measured signal gives the time difference between the arrival times of the leak noise at the sensors. It has been found that a resonance of the pipe system at the point where the sensors are attached, can have a profound effect on bandwidth of the measured leak noise signal, which has a major effect on the efficacy of the leak noise correlators.

The aim of the PhD project is set to investigate the dynamics of the hydrants via the following avenues:

  1. Theoretical modelling of vibrational wave propagation in hydrants
  2. Laboratory experiments on simplified hydrants
  3. Laboratory and field experiments on real hydrants

Associated research themes

Zero Leakage 2050

Related research groups

Dynamics Group
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