Aquatic environment

Development of systems for detection, early warning, and control of pipeline leakage in drinking water distribution: A case study

Weifeng Li , Wencui Ling , Suoxiang Liu , Jing Zhao , Ruiping Liu , Qiuwen Chen , Zhimin Qiang , Jiuhui Qu


Received October 25, 2010,Revised February 12, 2011, Accepted , Available online November 04, 2011

Volume 23,2011,Pages 1816-1822

Water leakage in drinking water distribution systems is a serious problem for many cities and a huge challenge for water utilities. An integrated system for the detection, early warning, and control of pipeline leakage has been developed and successfully used to manage the pipeline networks in selected areas of Beijing. A method based on the geographic information system has been proposed to quickly and automatically optimize the layout of the instruments which detect leaks. Methods are also proposed to estimate the probability of each pipe segment leaking (on the basis of historic leakage data), and to assist in locating the leakage points (based on leakage signals). The district metering area (DMA) strategy is used. Guidelines and a flowchart for establishing a DMA to manage the large-scale looped networks in Beijing are proposed. These different functions have been implemented into a central software system to simplify the day-to-day use of the system. In 2007 the system detected 102 non-obvious leakages (i.e., 14.2% of the total detected in Beijing) in the selected areas, which was estimated to save a total volume of 2,385,000 m3 of water. These results indicate the feasibility, efficiency and wider applicability of this system.

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