The search for leaks in the water networks of the HERA Group in a new innovative project
New technology of the HERA Group to combat the phenomenon of hidden leakage from the water networks, i.e. those hidden losses not signaled by visible water leaks and often present in distribution networks. The new detection system, highly sophisticated and technologically advanced, significantly reduces detection time and provides even greater accuracy in locating leaks from buried piping, clearly demonstrating the level of benefit that can lead to the application of advanced technologies to the resolution of problems affecting essential services.
Over 2,400 km were inspected in the Forlì area in 2016-17, 1,180 of them by satellite search: through the combined use of new technology with the more traditional leak detection methods, 311 breaks were located and repaired. The total volume recovered is estimated at over 1,030 million liters of water, equivalent to almost a billion bottles, i.e. about 260 bottles for each inhabitant of Forlì-Cesena.
To achieve these results, HERA was among the first in Italy to adopt a methodological, scientific approach to identify priority areas for conducting leak detection, an activity involving 15% of the entire network each year. To conduct it effectively and efficiently, a support algorithm was developed that analyzes a number of important factors to program the priorities, such as resource scarcity, the incidence of leaks per land section, the number of leaks already verified, and the operating pressure of the networks (where pressure is greater, a greater dispersion of water is likely in case of a break). The theme of leak detection and related innovations is at the center of preparation for WaterIDEAS, a new international conference to be held as part of H20-2018.