Have you ever wondered what goes on underground, under our homes, offices, etc?
An array of pipes run that carry water and even gas. A leak/crack in a system this wide and complex would mean hours of tiring search and wastage of resources. A
team of three students from Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, B.Tech. , the batch of 2023, have provided a solution that not only saves resources, but also saves time and a couple of bucks by telling the exact location of the leak.
Delhi’s population, as of 2012, has crossed 1.9 million. The availability of water has increased manifold. According to Delhi Budget, 2018, about 40 percent of the water supplied by Delhi Corporation goes waste due to pipe leakages. About 1300 million litres out of 4000 million litres of water goes unused. Some pipes in Delhi are as old
as 50-60 years, which means a compromise on their structural integrity.
As of now, there is no such efficient pipe leak detection system being employed in
India. Workers have to manually go underground and search for pipe leaks, which is inefficient and requires lots of manhours, considering the fact that the network of pipes laid out underground is too wide and complex.
The students have provided a logistical solution to pinpoint where and when a pipeline leak occurs in our city’s pipeline system. Their solution employs use of low potential signals throughout the length of the pipe using Aluminium foils. Breaking of pipe results in disrupting the flow of the signal, as the Aluminium foil will also break due to the high pressure of the water coming out, and as a result of this, the location of the leak is shown at the user end. So, this method is Simple, yet EFFECTIVE.
Detection of signals is done with the help of a microcontroller. The system uses Arduino for prototyping. It uses two electrodes per pipe for the detection of leaks/cracks. The voltage used for generating signals is 0V, i.e. grounding. This ensures that even if the foils short-circuit, no sparking occurs.
This project is not just limited to water pipes. Underground sewage pipes can also employ this solution to detect leaks. A report from CGWB said, “The leakage from sewer lines/soak pits (latrine) or leakage from DJB water supply pipelines or both may be locally recharging the groundwater in the area, causing its level to rise and thereby affecting the basements.” This project prevents dispose to go in and contaminate the groundwater present there.