Echologics, a leader in the development of acoustic technology for non-invasive leak detection and condition assessment, opened its new research and development site at Walkerton, Ontario, Canada on 10 September 2015. The site is dedicated to testing “smart” solutions for leak detection and pipe condition assessment.
The large scale research and development site spans over 12,140 square meters (3 acres) (approx. one soccer field) and is modelled after a fully operational, utility grade distribution system. More than 610 meters (2,000 feet) of plastic and metallic pipes are buried underground at the site, with diameters ranging from 15 mm (6”) to 400 mm (16”).
The site is well equipped to replicate real life conditions of the water network, which is crucial for new technology development. With a large 9m by 9m (30’ by 30’) excavated area, the exposed portion of the buried pipes allows engineers to easily access and interchange the pipe sections to simulate a wide variety of water main leaks scenarios, ranging from low pressure hard to detect leaks to small diameter pin hold leaks. Condition assessment activities on different pipe sizes and types may also be performed.
“This flexible site should enable us to advance our existing technologies and test and demonstrate our new ideas” said Marc Bracken, vice president and general manager of Echologics. He further stated, “This R&D center should help us rapidly advance new technologies and demonstrate solutions that give our customers access to the data they need to make educated and cost-effective decisions about their water networks, including asset management plans and infrastructure replacement investments.”
The new R&D site will also serve as a training and certification facility for Echologics’ clients and enable them to gain considerable hands–on experience with leak detection scenarios and pipeline condition assessment in a matter of weeks as compared to what could normally take years.
With the opening of the new R&D site, Echologics has shown its commitment to continue serving as a leader in the development of innovative water technologies that can help reduce water loss thereby preserving water – the world’s most valuable resource.
“With the launch of this site, Echologics is contributing to a tradition of excellence in advancing smart solutions for cities that are facing massive water and wastewater infrastructure challenges,” Dr. Peter Gallant, CEO, Water Technology Acceleration Project (WaterTAP).