Hydrophones for leak detection

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Sensor Technology, Canada, has received a repeat order for hydrophones custom-designed for a unique application in fire hydrants. Most of the hydrophones the company manufactures are used in marine applications, where designing for survival in sea water is the standard. For this project, the hydrophones are used in pipes carrying drinking water to millions of people, so finding suitable, food safe materials was our major challenge, according to Harvey Ng, production manager at SensorTech.

The fire hydrants, by Hinni AG of Switzerland, use hydrophones to detect leaks in the piping network. The sensors take sound measurements at pre-defined intervals and compare them to reference values. Significant deviations from the reference indicate a leak and the fire hydrants automatically issue warning messages to the person in charge by email or text message.

Hinni AG has been installing the current generation of leak-detecting hydrants for more than five years. They can be fitted on existing infrastructure and the prevention of water loss leads to calculable savings.

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