This past winter was one of the coldest on record and contributed to over 100 watermain breaks during the season. As a result, the PUC has ordered an Acoustic Leak Detection Survey of its entire distribution system. This method involves a systematic search for water leaks within a distribution system. A skilled technician uses an electronic acoustical amplifier to listen for “leak sounds”. A “leak sound” is the distinct noise produced when pressurized water is forcing its way through a crack or joint in a pipe or valve. Crews will be using this acoustic method in order to pinpoint the precise locations of underground leaks. “It is important to get a picture of how the distribution system held up last winter” says, Don DiDonato, PUC Water Distribution Manager. “Identifying these small leaks now, allows us to act proactively to repair the leaks before they become full blown main breaks next winter”
“In the past, the only way to detect a leak was if a PUC crew or resident noticed water seeping to the surface of the road and reported it – this method was ineffective at best. An Acoustic Leak Detection Survey is a far more effective method of identifying leaks.” says, DiDonato.
The survey will involve operating acoustic detection equipment above watermains. As the watermains are primarily located under roadways, overnight operating hours were chosen for this project to have less of an impact on traffic flow. Furthermore, the acoustic detection equipment is much more effective when the demand for water is at its lowest – typically this is overnight.
Surveying activities will mainly be conducted on city property (roadways) but at times crews may be on private property (depending on watermain locations).
Watermark Solutions Ltd. will be conducting the Acoustic Leak Detection Survey on behalf of the PUC. It will take approximately 6-8 weeks to survey the complete distribution system. The survey will start in the east end of the city and move west to the Gross Cap intake station.
The Leak Detection Survey will take place Monday – Friday between the hours of (9 PM – 7 AM). For more information on Acoustic Leak Detection please visit the Watermark Solutions website at www.watermarksolutions.ca or call PUC Customer Service at 705-759-6522 Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.