Water & Wastewater Treatment

WWT June 2018

Water & Wastewater Treatment Magazine

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Page 30 of 47

SmartBall (Pure Technologies) Southern Water is currently trialling Pure Technologies' SmartBall, a bowling ball- shaped device that can be used to tackle leaks in both water and wastewater. A foam casing houses an acoustic sensor that can detect variations in flow in a pipe, with signals sent to monitoring devices that are installed along the pipeline prior to its journey. The SmartBall is propelled by the water pressure, travelling through pipes for up to 12 hours, with preliminary leak locations provided 48 hours a er the inspection. The device requires a minimum pipe diameter of 250mm, and does not disrupt pipeline operation. SmartBall, which has been in use for several years and was originally developed for the oil and gas industry, also contains an accelerometer and gyroscope - which track the movement of the ball and can be used for pipeline mapping - and a magnetometer, which measures the magnetic field coming off the pipe wall that can be used to find features in the pipeline including joints. The device offers typical leak location accuracy of around 1-2m and has detected leaks as small as 0.11 litres/min in optimal conditions. It can be inserted through a variety of means due to its flexible foam exterior, ranging from hydrants and 4-inch (100m) taps to reservoirs. PipeDiver (Pure Technologies) Pure also offers the PipeDiver, which is used for water and wastewater pipelines with a diameter of 300mm to 3,000mm and consists of a navigation-aid battery module, a tracking module and an electromagnetic sensor module. Its 'fins' help to centre it and propel it along, and their flexibility mean it can navigate most butterfly valves, bends and tees. The sensors on each fin create electromagnetic fields that interact with the pipe wall and collect a magnetic signature for each section of the pipe, providing comprehensive data on areas of damage. It is also equipped with cameras, which help provide further help in condition assessment. All the data is then downloaded and assessed by the company's analysts on behalf of the clients. PipeDiver can pinpoint areas of distress within the pipeline: for pre-stressed concrete pipes, it can identify and locate broken wire breaks, while for metallic pipes, it can locate and detect areas of corrosion and cylinder defects. There are also multiple methods of insertion and extraction, requiring a 12-inch (304mm) access. The technology was first used in the UK by Scottish Water in 2015 and, like SmartBall, does not disrupt operation of the Rise of the robots In the first in a new series of innovation specials, we take a look at inline leak detection – small hi-tech robotic devices which can enter pipes to locate leaks and other potential issues By Robin Hackett www.wwtonline.co.uk | WWT | JUNE 2018 | 31 Innovation Zone Inline leak detection L eakage is a major issue for water suppliers throughout the world, particularly for those in water- stressed areas. In Britain, there are numerous methods of detection in current use, including listening tubes, drones, satellites, sniffer dogs, acoustic logging devices and smart meters. For leak detection surveys, though, inline devices may well be the future. By travel- ling through the pipeline, they can pinpoint leaks – and sometimes even areas of the pipe that are vulnerable to leakage – and there is the potential to provide video foot- age and additional sensors to detect and locate impurities. Here, we take a look at in- pipe leakage detection systems present and future. GOAL 5 LEAKAGE PipeDiver being used at Dalmacoulter in Lanarkshire

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