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Yorkshire Water to install record number of acoustic loggers

Yorkshire Water has announced that it will invest £10 million to install a world-record number of acoustic loggers in its underground pipe network to detect leakage.

The loggers will be used to help the company meet its a target to reduce leakage by 15 per cent by 2020, and a further 25 per cent by 2025.

During a trial of the technology, 600 of the devices installed in the pipe network in West Yorkshire helped to identify 35 leaks in one month, which contributed to a saving of around approximately 86,400 litres of water.

Following that success, Yorkshire Water will now proceed to install 34,000 more of the devices by October this year, covering 20 per cent of its water distribution areas. This will bring its total count to 40,000, more than any other water company in the world.

Martyn Hattersley, head of leakage operations at Yorkshire Water, said: "Each acoustic 'ear', or logger, is capable of identifying a leak within a 150 meters radius, which is much more accurate than current technology allows.

"It will give us a much greater understanding and visibility of what is happening in some of the areas most prone to leaks. By installing these devices, we will help our leakage technicians save millions of litres of water being wasted which will improve our water sustainability and reduce roadwork impact on customers."

Acoustic loggers listen to the flow of water through a pipe continuously and, if any anomalies in the noise are detected, an alarm is set off to alert the company's data analysis team. The data experts then analyse the noise to determine if it indicates a leak in the pipe and, if so, a leakage technician is sent out to find the precise location and repair the pipe, which takes around six days on average.

Yorkshire Water’s innovation team is currently working with the open data community by sharing sound files with them to better understand the sound profile of a leaky pipe, which will help its own analysts detect leaks.

Author: Robin Hackett, Deputy Editor, WWT and WET News
Topic: Leakage
Tags: Yorkshire Water , acoustic loggers , leaks , Data , technology , analysis , Innovation

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