Utilization of Trained Canines to Detect Leaks in Water Pipelines

Project ID: 22081
Principal Investigator: Daryl Little
Research Topic: Condition Assessment
Funded Fiscal Years: 2022, 2023 and 2024
Keywords: None

Research Question

RQ1: Can Reclamation successfully and economically utilize canines to detect leaks in pipelines conveying treated water? To determine the success of this inspection method we must consider the following:
• Spatial accuracy of detecting the origin of a leak.
• Size requirements of the leak be, i.e., amount of water lost before the canine can detect the leak.
• How factors such as pipeline diameter, burial depth, and cover material affect detection.
• Cost of canine leak detection, both for the service procurement and associated Reclamation effort, and breadth of the market of potential service providers.

RQ2: The other question which needs to be addressed by this research is how can this technique be adapted to searching for water leaks in raw water pipelines?

The anticipated outcome of this research is an understanding of if and how trained canines could be used to detect leaks on Reclamation pipeline infrastructure. If the demonstration is successful, researchers will be able to provide guidance for field office on the logistics of implementing this technique for both emergency and routine inspection purposes.

Need and Benefit

This research addresses the need to detect leaks in water pipelines; this technique has been shown to often result in fewer man-hours and equipment investment than traditional leak detection methods, with a good spatial accuracy over rugged terrain, making it faster and more economical despite the lack of "instrumentation." This research proposal was discussed with Water Infrastructure coordinator and Prize Competition Infrastructure Theme Area Manager Bobbi Jo Merten.

Contributing Partners

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Research Products

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Last Updated: 6/22/20