The History of Water Leak Detection Systems

With a leak detection system, one can monitor the flow of water through a pipeline. When the system detects unusual behavior, it cuts off the water flow by closing a valve within the leak detector.

Let’s look at the history of a leak detection system.

Ground-penetrating radar

In this water leak detection system, electromagnetic radiation and radar pulses are used to image the ground’s subsurface. When it detects water, the data is generated as a 3D image or a map that shows the water’s exact location. Yes, radar was invented during the 1930s, but it was only used for military purposes. When ground-penetrating radar was developed during the 1970s, it caught the attention of city officials who wanted to use this technology for mapping utility lines and pipes under city streets.

Acoustic water leak detection

This is another method of detecting water leaks. In 1879, a device named a topophone was invented by Professor A. M. Mayer, which helped the wearer determine a sound’s source. Currently, these devices are used to identify the sound of escaping water, which, when passing through cracks and holes in the pipes, produces an acoustic signal. Using a ground geo-phone is another method of detecting leaks. When positioned over the leak, this device detects and amplifies the sound.

Camera inspections

With the evolution of digital and film technology, closed-circuit cameras can be inserted into pipes and other areas to film the infrastructure’s condition. A monitor can display the images – plus, the images can be recorded as well. Also, infrared technology helps the viewer identify the source and water leaks’ progress on the spot. When you combine this with trenchless technology, leaks can be repaired without excavating around the damaged area.

Thermal imaging

During the 1950s and 1960s, infrared imaging was adapted to produce line images. Because thermal imaging can identify temperature differences, it was first used for detecting and fighting fires on ships in the 1970s. As digital technology evolved, taking photos of a section of roof or wall and then using infrared to locate isothermal images on the photographs became possible. This helped in the detection of water leaks without using bulky, expensive equipment. Finally, further advancements made onsite building inspections a possibility for detecting leaks.

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If left unchecked, poorly installed plumbing and aging pipes may lead to significant leaks and damages. PermAlert’s leak detection products are here to help you out!

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