Sheffield engineers helping to reduce water waste

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ENGINEERS at The University of Sheffield hope to have solved a problem for water companies by developing a leak detection system to identify damaged pipes.

The system tests pipes by transmitting a pressure wave which sends back a signal if it passes unexpected features, such as leaks or a crack in the surface.

Originally developed by a team led by Professor Stephen Beck in the department of mechanical engineering, the invention was developed into a prototype device, produced in partnership with the Department of Civil and Structural Engineering and Yorkshire Water.

It has been trialled at Yorkshire Water’s field operators in Bradford. Results show it offers a reliable and accurate method of leak testing to within 20cm.

Dr James Shucksmith, who led the trial, said: “We are very excited by the results we’ve achieved so far.”