Ashridge Engineering

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Burst Trunk Main Detection – Monitoring and Protecting Water Networks


Water, trunk or transfer mains are large diameter pipes that carry enormous amounts of water for distribution through smaller networks of pipes direct to the consumer property. When a trunk main bursts the results can be catastrophic with significant risk to people and property. Given the huge amounts of water that can suddenly come pouring out of the ground there is often no warning and no opportunity to prepare. This is complicated by the fact that large water mains do not have many access points making monitoring more difficult. This problem led to the development of Hydroguard®. It was felt that a system that could possibly predict areas of weakness and/or locater them quickly would mitigate the effects of these immensely damaging events.

Hydroguard measures, records and transmits flow, pressure and leak-noise data to provide high integrity monitoring for water trunk and transfer mains.

The Hydroguard unit can be set to measure at 15 minute interval readings and ‘learn’ a ‘pipeline activity signature’, this signature comprises flow, pressure and noise profiles at each 15 minute interval throughout the 24 hour period. Multiple High, Low or Combination alarms can be set on each of the 3 channels with activation of various actions (i.e. SMS to mobile phone, initiate high frequency logging (fastline). At the designated base station the PC will receive the SMS messages and present the data in a graphical format for viewing and archiving as well as monitoring incoming alarm notifications to determine the possibility and location of a major burst. This information is vital as the water undertaking often has less than an hour to detect and locate a burst before the effects become visible and start to damage property, roads, infrastructure and put people at risk.