Detecting Leaks and Flaws in Water Pipelines - Stage 1

  • Image of large pipe with workers standing on top of it.

    Launch: March 8, 2018
    Awarded: January 31, 2019

    Reclamation’s water conveyance system includes over 20,000 miles of buried pipelines made of various materials including metal, plastic, concrete, and composite. Municipal water utility collaborators also have extensive transmission and distribution pipeline networks. Pipeline components, such as joints, fittings, valves, and individual pipe sections, are subject to leakage due to damage, corrosion, and other types of degradation. Detecting water loss from pipelines will trigger appropriate maintenance, allowing conservation of scarce water resources and more reliable service to clients.

    Reclamation and our collaborators are seeking methods and technologies that can reliably and easily detect leaks and flaws in operating, pressurized water pipeline infrastructure regardless of size, depth of burial, pipe material or interior lining. Our primary focus is finding condition assessment solutions for 48-inch or greater pipe diameters and for steel and prestressed concrete cylinder pipe types, although solutions for all pipe types and diameters greater than 24 inches will be considered.