Every year, 400,000 m3 of water disappears on its way to Söderhamn Nära’s customers – the equivalent of a 20% water loss. In an effort to bring that number down, the utility started rolling out a new smart metering solution that makes it possible to detect leaks in pipes via acoustic leak detection.
According to Robin Lindberg, project manager for Söderhamn Nära AB, leak detection so far has been a laborious and lengthy task. If they suspect a leak, they go from valve to valve to listen for it, shutting off areas one by one to verify their assumption. Particularly areas with plastic pipes are particularly problematic. “In plastic pipes, you can’t hear the leak with our traditional equipment so unless it comes up to the surface it’s almost impossible to find.” Water loss is especially challenging in the city. Leaks here mainly occur in the bigger pipes and can be as much as 30 m3 per hour. “Finding a leak can take anywhere from days to years,” says Henrik Inancsi, Meter Manager for Söderhamn Nära AB.
Today, they use their new smart meters, flowIQ® 2200 combined with the analytics tool, Leak Detector, to identify the most relevant addresses and then go there to verify the potential leaks. As a result, their efforts are now a lot more targeted, which ensures an efficient use of resources.