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The University of Southampton

Research project: Zero Leakage 2050

Currently Active: 

UK Water Industry Research (UKWIR), working in partnership with others, has taken a lead in the development of the water research agenda in the UK and Ireland by defining a strategic research programme to address the key challenges facing the industry, now and in the future. In the ISVR at Southampton University, we are working on one of the 12 Big Research Questions, ‘How will we achieve zero leakage in a sustainable way by 2050?’. In particular, in ISVR, we are looking at the fundamental research required to take Acoustic Leak Detection to a whole new level.

Leakage from pipes is a major issue in the water industry, being an issue, not only in environmental terms, because of wasting an important natural resource, but also in economic and health terms, from both an environmental and cost perspective. UK Water Industry Research (UKWIR) have identified leakage as one of their strategic priorities and have recently set up the Zero Leakage 2050 initiative, aiming to address the question “How will we achieve zero leakage in a sustainable way by 2050 ?”

The UK water companies delivered major reductions in leakage levels over the period 1995 to 2005. However the rate of reduction has slowed greatly over the past 10 years, and over the UK as a whole 22% of water produced is still lost through leakage; recent research has shown that many new polyethylene networks are responsible for a significant proportion of leakage.

In 2018 3 PhD projects commenced, part funded by UKWIR

A further project ‘Pipe Wave Modelling for Acoustic Leak Detection’ commenced in 2020, also part-funded by UKWIR’.

Two further projects are currently being advertised

Dr Muggleton is supervising these projects along with Dr Emiliano Rustighi, Professor Paul WhiteDr Neil Ferguson and Professor Phil Joseph.

Related research groups

Acoustics Group
Water and Environmental Engineering Group
Water Research
Signal Processing, Audio and Hearing Group
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