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The most widely deployed leakage control strategies today involve regular network sweeps by field detection teams; however, these techniques can be time consuming and costly. In contrast to these physical methods, there is now a growing market for intelligent network monitoring solutions. For example, by deploying acoustic monitoring technologies throughout their distribution systems, water utilities can actively survey for pipeline leaks. Normally installed on fittings in the distribution system, acoustic sensors can relay data via a communications network to operators using an analytic software solution. This software then processes the data and alerts the system operator when a “noise” indicative of a leak is detected.


Advanced solutions can provide utilities with near real-time visibility over their networks. These methods are based on a utility’s existing, online data taken from network sensors, which transmit their data to a central location. The collected information is then utilised to identify, characterise and alert on evolving conditions and trends, as well as to prevent or respond to various network inefficiencies. Timely warning allows a utility's operational staff to react before a visible and costly failure develops, energy is wasted or water quality degrades. This insight can also support long-term decision-making about how and where to target resources for preventative maintenance, rehabilitation or replacement.

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