Celtic Surveys | Leakage Detection

Our vast level of knowledge and experience within the water industry means we can offer an extensive array of leakage detection services. We strive to offer a first class service by applying a methodology that best fits the scenario so that the best possible outcome is reached. We will always evaluate and plan our approach and agree on this with our customer before we start any activity. This allows a two-way discussion and in turn enables us to explore all the relevant techniques available for the task.   


Leakage detection is typically achieved through the leak noise generated from the escape of water on the water network, although over the past twenty years this has been enhanced by way of flow measurement which can be remotely monitored. Water companies have created discrete, metered areas and can react to changes in flow by way of deployment of a field technician. It is critical to locate the source of the leakage and we achieve this by essentially sounding the mains network and applying the application required for the task.


Over the years. we have tried and tested many applications, methodologies and techniques to produce some great results. Our innovative approach has assisted suppliers within the industry to develop new products from data loggers to acoustic devices.


Our focus will always be to provide the best fit for the situation we have been given. Below are some of the equipment, methodologies and techniques we utilise on a daily basis:


  • Fittings Sounding – Listening sticks are used to listen to water fittings for the sound of water escaping from the network. Similar to the sound generated from a toilet cistern filling. 

  • Leak Noise Correlation – Measures the time delay of sound reaching two electronic sensors and calculates the distance from each sensor to give the discrete area of interest. Key to this application is knowing what pipework is in the ground to enable the correct calculation.  

  • Electronic Ground Mic – Similar to the listening stick, but enhanced with electronic filters to allow lower decibel sounds to be picked up that the human ear cannot hear. This can be utilised without making direct contact with pipework or associated fittings, with the ability to enhance the pinpointing of leakage through different ground conditions. 

  • Flow Measurement – Increased flow can be an indication of leakage. Isolating sections of the network whilst monitoring flows remotely can enable areas of interest to be identified in a more efficient manner and reduce the need for unnecessary works. Within the industry, it is recognised as Step Testing and is a proven method.

  • Pressure Variance – Systematically monitoring pressures can highlight leakage/usage within the network for further investigation.  

  • Gas Detection – Where locating has proven difficult an inert gas can be injected into the network and then its point of release can be detected.

  • Thermal Imaging – Used to identify the difference in temperatures created by leakage within pipework.

  • Acoustic Loggers – Listens to the network at night to provide areas of interest on leakage noise. 

  • Permanent Acoustic Noise Loggers - These have the ability to be placed on the water network and to remotely identify potential leak noise and send data every 24 hours for monitoring purposes.  


Should you require a more in-depth explanation, or any further information, please do not hesitate to make contact.


We were requested to respond to an incident where a neighbouring property to Chobham Cemetery was flooded. A Celtic Survey leakage technician was mobilised to investigate and locate the source of the water.


The water supply to the cemetery was identified as being the root cause and, following further detection, a section of old 1” metallic pipework was identified as being in very poor condition, with multiple leaks.


The leakage detection work had identified a small section of the pipework that was leaking and, therefore, a targeted approach in a very sensitive working area was necessary to minimise the impact on the cemetery, with as little disruption as possible.


A 30m section of pipework was replaced with 32mm MDPE pipework, removing the leak and stopped the flooding to the neighbouring property.


Once the team had completed the repair, the area was reinstated and the site cleared, leaving the grounds in perfect condition.

Chobham Cemetery Before
Chobham Cemetery Before

Leakage Detection Case Study

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Chobham Cemetery After
Chobham Cemetery After

Leakage Detection Case Study

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