SmartPipes: Smart Wireless Sensor Networks for Leak Detection in Water Pipelines

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95 Citations (Scopus)
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Asset monitoring, specifically infrastructure monitoring such as water distribution pipelines, is becoming increasingly critical for utility owners who face new challenges due to an aging network. In the UK alone, during the period of 2009–2010, approximately 3281 mega litres (106) of water were wasted due to failure or leaks in water pipelines. Various techniques can be used for the monitoring of water distribution networks. This paper presents the design, development and testing of a smart wireless sensor network for leak detection in water pipelines, based on the measurement of relative indirect pressure changes in plastic pipes. Power consumption of the sensor nodes is minimised to 2.2 mW based on one measurement every 6 h in order to prolong the lifetime of the network and increase the sensor nodes’ compatibility with current levels of power available by energy harvesting methods and long life batteries. A novel pressure sensing method is investigated for its performance and capabilities by both laboratory and field trials. The sensors were capable of measuring pressure changes due to leaks. These pressure profiles can also be used to locate the leaks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-78
JournalSensor and Actuator Networks
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 20 Feb 2014


  • pipe monitoring
  • leak detection
  • wireless sensor network
  • ultra-low power consumption
  • laboratory trials
  • field trials


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