Adelaide uses smart network to detect over 50% of water pipe breaks

The smart network is being expanded to six further locations across the state.
Written by Campbell Kwan, Contributor on

Government utility service SA Water announced on Thursday that its smart network trial, used for detecting water pipe issues, has proactively detected more than half of the water main breaks and leaks within the Adelaide CBD since its rollout.

The ongoing smart network trial, which began in July 2017, has detected and repaired 40 faults proactively compared to 36 reactively, SA Water chief executive Roch Cheroux said.

The smart network uses over 300 acoustic detection sensors, which monitor and decipher acoustic sounds, to determine if there are any potential cracks in the Adelaide's pipes systems. According to SA Water, the acoustic detection sensors cover an average range of 100 metres and are tasked with monitoring around 50% of Adelaide's water network.

"Our sensors detect around 200 environmental noises every day, and our people and systems continue to improve their understanding of acoustic patterns to help distinguish circumferential or longitudinal cracks in our pipes from other sounds picked up by the technology," Roch said.

The smart network also comprises of other Internet of Things-enabled (IoT) technology, such as smart meters, mass pressure sensors, water quality sensors, mass flow meters and press transient sensors.

Following the trial's success within the Adelaide CBD, SA Water has made plans to expand its smart network to six further locations across South Australia, which will also use meters for sewer and odour monitoring. The locations for the expansion are North Adelaide, Athelstone, Port Lincoln, Penneshaw, Stonyfell, and Gawler.

The city of churches received a AU$551 million injection in March, from the federal government, alongside the South Australian government and the City of Adelaide, to make it a "centre of innovation excellence".

Under the deal, Lot Fourteen in the north-eastern corner of Adelaide's CBD will be converted into an innovation precinct. Lot Fourteen will host the headquarters of the Australian Space Agency, its mission control facility, and the Australian Space Discovery Centre.

(Image: Supplied)


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