In this paper, the reliability of transients due to pump trip as a powerful tool for the pre-localization of anomalies in real pipe systems is tested. The examined pipe system is part of the one supplying the city of Milan, Italy and is managed by Metropolitana Milanese SpA (MM). The characteristics of such a system can be considered as intermediate between those of classical transmission mains and distribution systems because of its several branches. A Lagrangian model simulating pressure wave propagation is used to evaluate the pipe pressure wave speed – associated with a genetic algorithm – and to locate possible anomalies – associated with wavelet analysis. The results of the diagnosis of the pipe system are corroborated by repairs executed by MM in the area where possible anomalies have been pre-localized.