Bentley Systems Incorporated

Bentley’s innovative water-leakage modeling software addresses billion-dollar-a-year problem


Source: Bentley Systems Incorporated

Bentley Systems, Incorporated has announced the latest version of its Darwin Calibrator module featuring water-leakage modeling capabilities. The new version of the module, which is included in WaterGEMS V8 XM and available for WaterCAD V8 XM, provides a cost-effective way to estimate the location and extent of hidden leakage in underground pipes. The Ontario Sewer and Watermain Construction Association in Canada reported that approximately $1 billion worth of clean drinking water disappears into the ground every year from deteriorated and leaky municipal water pipes. The innovative methodology behind the new Darwin Calibrator was developed by Bentley and United Utilities Water (UUW) PLC, a FTSE-100 company with a turnover of almost $4 billion and a staff of 9,000. UUW supplies water and wastewater services to 7.5 million customers in North West England and provides utility services to around 20 million people via international businesses spanning Australia, Central Europe, and the Philippines.

Commenting on the key benefits of the new Darwin Calibrator technology, Dr. Zheng Yi Wu, Bentley director of applied research in engineering optimization, said, “Existing leak-detection techniques, such as step-testing or acoustic devices, require a lot of apparatus and personnel. As a result, they are very time-consuming and costly. The new leakage-detection feature of Bentley’s enhanced Darwin Calibrator identifies the locations and sizes of the leakage holes, emulated as emitters that allow water to spurt and seep out at different rates depending on prevailing pressure. With the effective and rapid prediction of the most likely leakage locations, consulting engineers and water utility owners and operators save time and money by focusing their site investigations on the model-predicted leakage areas to test for leakage hotspots using widely available leak-detection instruments.”

The new version of the Darwin Calibrator was previewed earlier this year by more than 60 water professionals attending Bentley’s Water Loss Seminar and Workshop in Marbella, Spain. At the seminar, Mark Wheeler and Muhamed Hayuti, both of Atkins, the largest engineering consultancy in the United Kingdom, presented benchmark studies on leakage hotspot prediction and water network models conducted in coordination with Paul Sage, modeling development manager for UUW. The studies demonstrated a successful modeling approach for detecting unreported leakage hotspots using WaterGEMS’ leakage-detection capabilities and the newest version of the software’s Darwin Calibrator module.

Commenting on the studies, David Turtle, leakage and demand strategy manager for UUW, said. 'We consider the leakage-detection optimization model developed in collaboration with Bentley to be a valuable and important tool in reducing leakage and achieving the annual targets that UUW agreed to with the U.K.’s water-industry regulator, OFWAT. A particular advantage of this technique is its ability to identify hard-to-find leaks.”

To learn more about Bentley’s water-leakage detection and management technology, or to download videos of presentations made at Bentley’s Water Loss Seminar and Workshop in Marbella, Spain, Jan. 28-30, 2008, as well as copies of white papers distributed at the event, visit

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