Ground Penetrating Radar Systems (GPRS) was called in for an emergency leak detection job at a small trailer park in the southern region of Albany, NY. In the previous night before GPRS service, six trailers had suddenly lost all water. No water was surfacing near the trailers, as the ground consisted of dense gravel and a loud piercing noise could be heard within the pump house nearby.
GPRS water loss specialist, Nick Starr, was tasked to investigate the area and determine where the main pipeline leak was located.Unlike most trailer parks, this particular area had service pipeline valves as well as mainline valves which could be used for isolation purposes. The isolation of one main pipeline valve near the six trailers with no water indicated that the leak was not beyond the affected trailers as well as contained within their vicinity. The beginning of the investigation started with acoustic leak detection via the S-30 Surveyor for any potential leak signal which can be used to narrow the search area. The contact on-site had advised Nick that the pipe material was galvanized steel, therefore the available contact points yielded minimal leak signal which was a surprise due to being told that the main was galvanized. Further questions directed at the client led to more information. Previous repairs had been accomplished on the main pipe in question. The previous breaks were removed from the main line and plastic tubing was inserted in its place. The installation of small sections of plastic tubing destroyed the continuity of the water system which in turn yielded minimal leak signal even on the contact points closest to the leak location.
Of the numerous points available for testing, only two produced a leak signal to indicate a leak nearby. To further pinpoint the pipeline leak, the leak noise correlate was used. Multiple correlations both in short and long distances were performed, and all successful correlations zeroed o none trailer service valve which was also the contact point with the most acoustic tone. Due to the area being all grass, additional pinpointing utilized the hammering of metal probe rods above the main into the ground. Being a highly dense gravel area with numerous large tree roots, the probe rods were incredibly difficult to hammer into the ground. After multiple penetrations, one probe rod appeared to enter the ground considerably easier than every other spot beforehand. The probe rod was acoustically sounded and a small tone of water bubbling could be heard. Once the probe rod was removed from the ground, the end of it was wet and muddy.
Excavation of the area identified quickly yielded, copious amounts of water and the leak was found underneath where the probe rod had easily entered the ground. A large hole was found on the main pipeline and the broken section was cut and removed. A repair was put in place and the water once again flowed into the trailers.
GPRS is available to provide a multitude of services including but not limited to utility location on big and small construction projects, concrete scanning in industrial buildings, or leak detection for missing water.To schedule any of your utility or leak detection needs in the New York area, call 303-945-5415 or visit gprsinc.com.
GPRS also provides leak detection services in the following surrounding areas: Utica NY, Springfield MA, and Poughkeepsie NY.
Note: GPRS does not provide geophysical, geological, land surveying or engineering services. If you need such services, please contact an appropriate professional.