Thames Water trials leak monitoring for EU-funded research
Thames Water is installing innovative leak monitoring kit to a main pipe serving Reading as part of a Europe-wide research project.
The Syrinix Trunkminder technology is being put in on a major trunk main on Reading’s Tilehurst Road to flag up any cracks or leaks in the 20-inch cast iron pipe, which is 82 years old.
The installation is part of the £8M SmartWater4Europe initiative, which is funding trials of equipment and innovations over four years in the Netherlands, Spain, France and the UK.
“Syrinix Trunkminder sits on the old pipe and actually listens to the water powering through the network,” said Thames Water innovation programme manager Nic Clay-Michael. “It gives us advanced warning if something changes, if something is not right.
“This could be a very minor leak, just three or four drips a minute, or creak, but the technology allows us to act way before any catastrophic failure and, most importantly, customer impact.”
“We are proud to be involved in this exciting project, and it’s great we are able to share the benefits at no extra cost to our customers,” he said.
Installation of the Tilehurst Road kit, which will cover a key 1,000 metre stretch of the trunk main, involves digging three chambers. Two are currently well underway, in Brownlow Road and Downshire Square, while work on the third in Tilehurst Road by the junction of Cranbury Road started yesterday (Oct 22). Trial results will help understand the optimum levels of technology needed to deliver a better level of customer service in other areas in the Thames Water region and across Europe.
SmartWater4Europe aims to speed up innovations in key areas of the water industry, with the need to rehabilitate and monitor water networks being identified as a priority. Projects will be concentrated on four towns: Reading, Lille in France, Leeuwarden in Holland, and a to-be-confirmed location in Spain.
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