Tech helps address nonrevenue water loss

16th October 2020 By: Halima Frost - Reporter

Tech helps address nonrevenue water loss

SMART DETECTIVE The Smart Ball water leak detection an assessment tool can be deployed without having to disrupt the flow within the system

According to a rough consensus derived from its end customers and partners, about 38% of South Africa’s produced water is non-revenue water, but water technology company Xylem Water Solutions South Africa says its key technologies assist in addressing this challenge.

Nonrevenue water is water that has been produced, but is lost or unaccounted for through leaks, faulty monitoring or theft.

Xylem Water offers a variety of solutions, from water metering to the Smart Ball leak detection and assessment tool; the Sahara tethered leak detection and assessment preventive tool and the Visenti View software and analytics platform.

Xylem Water Solutions South Africa and Africa strategy and marketing manager Chetan Mistry explains that the Smart Ball is an Internet of Things-enabled ball with sensors. It uses the latest accelerometer and gyroscope technology to create a field-generated X and Y map of a pipeline.

The Smart Ball, when placed into a water pipeline, uses acoustics to detect leaks and air pockets ranging in size from about a pinhole to large visible leaks.

Notably the Smart Ball can be deployed without disrupting services.

The Smart Ball uses location technology to pinpoint leaks within metres of the source, which mitigates unnecessary excavation and, consequently, reduces the time and costs of repairs.

It has onboard technology to collect further data, including water pressure, heading, temperature and acceleration, all of which can assist in terms of decisions regarding preventive maintenance.

The Smart Ball can cover about 40 km of network a day – depending on the complexity of the network – and boasts a battery life of about 400 hours.

The Sahara is a versatile, free-swimming condition-assessment tool that operates while the pipeline remains in service, and is enabled with video capabilities,” explains Mistry.

Although the tool covers short distances, its being video-enabled allows for visual data collections and inspections to detect leaks and assess infrastructure.

Sahara can be used in conjunction with the Smart Ball or independently to conduct condition assessments of infrastructure.

All information is then correlated using the Visenti View software and analytics platform, which offers nonrevenue-water reporting asset failure prediction, decision support and 24/7 notifications.

All three technologies have been developed by innovative infrastructure technology developer and Xylem subsidiary Pure Technologies brand.

With successful projects including a remarkable stretch of 1 400 km in pipeline networks, any number of leaks which would have resulted in many millions of litres of water being lost, can be detected using these technologies.