New equipment has been developed that behaves like a spark tester, but doesn’t have to be performed on conductive-backed geomembrane. It has the same requirements as the water puddle and water lance methods in terms of a conductive layer underlying the geomembrane, including soil. It is not a spark tester, which is used exclusively on conductive-backed geomembrane; yet, it creates an electrical spark.
The terminology invented to differentiate this new technology from its predecessors is the arc tester. The arc tester can locate leaks even when there is a separation between the geomembrane and the underlying conductive layer of up to one inch, which ultimately makes it much more sensitive than the water-based methods. This method has been used privately for over a decade in Europe, completely replacing the water puddle and water lance methods, and is now being offered commercially for the first time.