Electro Scan completes trial project for Sydney Water using advanced machine-intelligent leak detection technology

Electro Scan Inc., a provider of machine-intelligent pipeline assessment products and services, has completed a trial project of its technology with Sydney Water, Australia’s largest water utility.

Traditionally, water utilities have relied on high resolution cameras and visual inspection to manually assess defects inside of sewer pipes having low flows or restricted flows. Pressure tests of existing and new pipe installations are also common but, when located in close proximity to shorelines, may falsely measure water tightness based on groundwater conditions.

“We will use the findings from this trial to see if we can improve the way we test our new and rehabilitated pipelines and prioritise our repair strategies for existing wastewater pipelines,” stated Jerry Sunarho, BEng MBus, Senior Engineer, Sydney Water, responsible for coordinating the project trial.

“We were delighted to be invited Down Under to demonstrate the features & benefits of our patented low voltage conductivity,” stated Chuck Hansen, CEO and Founder, Electro Scan Inc.

Sydney Water is a statutory state-owned corporation wholly owned by the New South Wales Government managing an area of 12,870 sq km (5,969 sq mi), including the management and operation of 22,342km (13,883 miles) of drinking water mains and 26,169km (16,261 miles) of sewer mains serving an estimated population of 5.14 million people.

Electro Scan’s Focused Electrode Leak Location (FELL) technology evaluated sewer mains ranging from 150mm to 400mm (6 inch to 16 inch) diameters, including clay, cured-in-place lined pipe (CIPP), earthenware, plastic, and Rib-Loc spiral wound lined pipes.

Data was automatically processed in the field with results on Electro Scan’s cloud-based Critical Sewers® application, available in minutes.

Electro Scan also partnered with Innovyze Inc., a leading risk modeling and decision support developer, that used its co-developed Electro Scan-Innovyze Application Programming Interface (API) to seamlessly integrate FELL data to the Innovyze® InfoAsset Planner ® solution.

Similar to holiday testing used to evaluate protective coatings for defects and pinholes, Electro Scan uses a low voltage high frequency current that is able to create an electric circuit between the inside of pipes and surface.

If a pipe has a leak, for instance from a crack in the pipe wall, at a joint, junction, customer’s connection, or through a lining or coating material, the circuit is temporarily completed and a measurable leak size & location is automatically recorded.

Defect locations, including pinhole leaks in trenchless rehabilitation materials are precisely located within 1cm (3/8 of an inch) and estimated in liters per second or gallons per minute.

Electro Scan’s Amazon Web Service cloud applications provides 365x7x24 support to water companies, worldwide.

All work for Sydney Water was completed in accordance with ASTM F2550-13 (2018), ‘Standard Practice for Locating Leaks in Sewer Pipes By Measuring the Variation of Electric Current Flow Through the Pipe Wall.’

Electro Scan field support, traffic control, and advisory services were provided by locally-based Aqua Assets Pty Ltd, led by Warwick DaVanzo and Holly Tonner.

Separately, Electro Scan’s FELL technology has been evaluated in other worldwide benchmark studies, including projects sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), American Water Works Association (AWWA), The Water Research Foundation (WRF). German institute of Underground Infrastructure (IKT), UK-based Water Research Centre (WRc. plc), and Japan Sewer Collection System Maintenance Association (JASCOMA).

Electro Scan’s low voltage technology is also used for pressurized water pipes, in accordance with the AWWA M77 Manual of Water Supply Practices for Condition Assessment of Water Mains.