Acoustic leak detection

The availability of fresh water is a critical issue for all living organisms. Few organisms might be able to make use of salt water but the majority of plants and most animals require access to fresh water in order to survive. Although great amount of this resource is required, its availability on our planet is yet very limited. Indeed, only the 0.3 % of the total water on our planet is available as surface water for the use and consume of all living ecosystems, and, of this 0.3 % most of it results to be polluted by human activity and therefore needs to be treated before being consumed.

In India, more than half of the country is currently facing severe water stresses. Water intensive agriculture, rapid urbanization, tertiary sector expansion and a growing energy production are all factors leading to higher water demand in India. This together with a bad management of the already scarce water resources on a linear model of withdrawal, consumption and disposal is causing severe social and environmental consequences, affecting in primis the poorest and most vulnerable.


In many of these cases, water stresses are caused by water losses due to outdated water supply networks, which often result to be multi-damaged and in some situations even untighten. The leakages generated by those damaged points are the main responsible for the contamination of fresh water and for water losses in water networks, resulting in fresh water wastage of up to 70 % of the total amount available.


The urgency in providing reliable supplies of clean water in order to meet an increasing demand, has pushed InSell to investigate into the best smart technical solutions, available on the market, in order to tackle the water leaks issue in India. For this reason, InSell plans to showcase a set of Smart water technologies aimed at tackling down issues related to water leaks in pipe systems networks. Globally municipalities are adopting these Smart instruments to detect not only leaks but also prevent polluted and hazardous water which mixes with the drinking water. A problem, which almost all the cities in India are facing. We have a large proportion of clients to show the advanced Instruments to detect and solve the issues in water management. Insell took a step ahead to resolve the issues for municipalities in India with our cooperation partner F.A.S.T GmbH. (Picture 1)



Smart Water Management

The urgency in providing reliable supplies of clean water in order to meet an increasing demand, according to environmental friendly principles, has pushed to a rapid technological sustainable development transition in the water sector.   The Smart water management concept is considered to be the cornerstone of this transition. This concept is InSell´s special suit and it is built around the idea according to which fresh water needs to be managed sustainably. This involves a usage, which maintains harmony and balance among nature and therefore living organisms, and the water cycle, while reducing the emission of greenhouses gasses produced by the functioning of water treatments.  InSell GmbH, with its commitment to sustainable development, plans to showcase Solutions in the SMART Water Management at SMART CITIES INDIA EXPO which closely focuses on identifying leaks at water supply lines with the help of sensor based “Smart” systems developed by our cooperation partner FAST GmbH in Germany

The following list of water-related concerns represents the range of action to which our SMART water technologies are applied.

  • Mitigating the effects of climate variability such as droughts and floods;
  • Guarantying safe and potable water to everyone according to everyone needs;
  • Safeguarding the natural status of water environments and ecosystems;
  • Maintain and monitoring the aging of facilities installed such as pipe networks and valves;
  • Reducing greenhouse gases emissions associated with water supply and wastewater treatment;
  • Adding value to wastewater through the application of the bio-based principles.


Leak Detection

 F.A.S.T GmbH is a German company located in the Baden-Württemberg region pioneering in Leak detection systems broadly categorized into two parts. Since 1985, it is a world leader in manufacturing an entire range of technical equipment used to detect and locate leakages on drinking-water supply pipeline network systems.  These innovative solutions are sold in more the 30 different countries .Since, FAST GmbH is one of the leading solutions provider in Water Management with many technological advancements to prevent drinking water to be lost or wasted and to efficiently treat polluted water streams.


At InSell, it is well known that, leaks on drinking-water pipe network systems waste precious resources, while requiring additional financial costs due to water purification purposes. Furthermore, damages to infrastructures and buildings can also result as consequence of the water infiltrations. Already minor leaks can lead to exorbitant financial loses. Due to this reason, in our vision, it is essential to ensure an easy detection of possible small and major leaks, which will later require immediate intervention.


On average, It is estimated that a leak with a diameter off 6 mm in conjunction with 6 bar* pressure, produces water losses for 20.736 m³ per year. Assuming an ordinary cost of 0, 75 € per 1 m³ of water, the yearly financial loses for such a leak would amount at 15.552 €. (Picture 2)


Technology Overview

  The principle

The aim of F.A.S.T GmbH technologies is to detect and locate leakages on drinking water supply pipeline networks. Most of these technologies are based on sounds sensors capable to track possible leakages in water pipeline networks. These sensors work by detecting sounds generated by outpouring water.  Normally, sensors are applied on specific pipe network contact points, which are directly accessible such as hydrants or valves. Stronger noise indicates that the leak is located closer to the listening point, while less intensive noise suggests the leak will be found further away. This principle permits to narrow the possible location of a leak to a specific pipe section in-between two contact points. This will help to reduce enormously the time, and financial and labor resources required in order to determine the location of a leakages and intervene promptly.



How is the sound produced by the Leak


In order to get a clear picture of the leak detecting technology, it is important to understand the physical principles on which it is based.

The technology works by recognizing a deviation in sound inner of the pipe network system.  Sounds are vibrations that propagate as a typically audible mechanical wave of pressure and displacement, through a transmission medium, which in our case is represented by water.


As soon as a liquid escapes from a pipe at a damaged spot, longitudinal shock waves are generated and start to travel along the water column in both directions.

These waves by impacting against the pipe´s material generate vibrations. These vibrations are mechanical vibrations, also called structure sounds-waves, and they are detectable by monitoring the pipe´s material sound oscillations.  Close to the damaged spot, the shock waves will be of higher intensity and therefore the sound, generated by the vibration of the pipe material, will be more acute. On the same way, the farther the waves travel the less intensive the noise will become and therefore the harder it will be to detect any damaged spot. This is due to the fact that at a certain distance from the pipe´s crack the shock waves are too weak to make the pipe material vibrate and therefore noise is no longer produced.  Of course, this largely depends on many factors which play a very important role in sounds propagation.  As a consequence of this a detailed pre-inspection regarding the kind of soil, its compaction level, the pipe material, the operation pressure, the fluid viscosity and flow rate should be conducted.


  Product Samples


F.A.S.T GmbH provides their clients with a wide range of technological solutions customized according to specific client and project requirement.

Below are the list of Products which FAST GmbH hold:, (Picture 3)




The LOKAL 400 has the latest technology for detecting leakages in pressurized pipelines. The pressurized medium inside the pipelines generates a leakage borne noise at the leakage spot, which is detected by sensors mounted at accessible places such as hydrants and valves. The LOKAL 400 can detect the leakages in pipes with 8 different pipe materials in one measurement (correlation and geophone). The amplified pick-up signal is transmitted to the control unit. Once the leaked spot is identified the LOKAL 400 in combination with aground microphone can be used as geophone to confirm the result by eavesdropping the ground.


  • user friendly control features
  • robust aluminium case
  • 20 pipe sectors possible
  • Geophone with smart function

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  • AQUA M-300 D

Innovative technology combing acoustic leak detection with geophone, tracer gas detection and tracing plastic pipe with PWG, in one single device. Very flexible products suitable for many different applications, also with loud ambient noise.

  • Intelligent Geophone for Leak Detection
  • Automatic function for filtering and amplification
  • Pyramid mode
  • Long term measurement
  • Tracer gas leak detection

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