2 nov 2018

Bringing together machine learning and hydraulic models, Aquasuite® BURST is set to be a game changer in the fight against leaky pipes.
Photo: The pavement in Merkelbeek, September 14, 2018. Source: Google maps and whatsapp Limburg1

Photo: The pavement in Merkelbeek, September 14, 2018. Source: Google maps and whatsapp Limburg1

Royal HaskoningDHV’s Aquasuite® BURST application detects leaks early and alerts employees, customers or passers-by. It’s not just catastrophic leaks that it can detect though, it can also warn about the small leaks that could have a huge impact. Recently, just such a small leak hit the news when an elderly lady was injured after a sinkhole opened in a section of pavement in Merkelbeek (Limburg), The Netherlands. The collapse was caused by a leak in a water pipe where the outflowing water flowed into the adjacent sewer. The Dutch news story is here.

Detecting leaks early

We expect this problem to increase as water pipes age. Water company Waterleiding Maatschappij Limburg (WML) specifies its replacement water pipes have an average lifespan of 80 years but there are additional measures that can also be taken to prevent damage from leaks, such as rapid detection with Aquasuite® BURST.Detecting leaks early saves water, repair costs, consequential damage and could avoid injuries such as suffered by the lady in Limburg.WML is part of the Aquasuite® BURST development program, alongside other drinking water suppliers Waterbedrijf Groningen, PWN, Dunea, Oasen and Brabant Water as well as Royal HaskoningDHV. Monitoring is already in place in many areas across the Netherlands; from Den Helder to Steenbergen and from Groningen to Tilburg, providing us with plenty of useful data to help improve the application.

A 1-minute alert for Oasen

Aquasuite® BURST has already delivered a number of successes for Oasen – one member of the development program.At 11.01 on 16 January a leak occurred near Lekkerkerk. Aquasuite® BURST raised the alarm at 11.02. It wasn’t until 11:22 that a report arrived at our call centre that a contractor had hit a main line in Krimpen aan de Ijssel – a full 20 minutes after the initial leak was detected by Aquasuite® BURST. This early detection is key to the efficient management and successful repair of water pipes.Oasen hopes to roll out Aquasuite® BURST across its supply area in 2019. This is an exciting step from theory to practice, where 'new school' machine learning and 'old school' hydraulic models come together with our new leak detection technology.