Ground Penetrating Radar Systems (GPRS) was contacted to locate the source of a sudden and drastic water loss in the municipal water system for a sector of the city in Boston, MA. The water loss was so severe that the system’s wells could not keep up, and their storage tanks were being depleted. City personnel had previously searched the system in an attempt to locate the leak, yet no surfacing water was observed.
GPRS water loss specialist, Jeffrey L ail, was called upon to investigate the situation. Utilizing acoustic leak detection, the contact points within the system, such as hydrant sand main line valves, were tested for the presence of an acoustic leak signal. This process carried on throughout sections of the city where traffic conditions produced little ambient noise. Unfortunately, no leak signal was observed in these areas. This just left the areas where road conditions provided too much ambient noise for the acoustic listening device to be effective. Jeffrey returned to the site that night, when the roads were empty, and continued to acoustically test the contact points in the areas that could not be checked during the day. Acoustic leak signal was observed on a couple of hydrants and main pipe valves alongMain Street. The location of the water pipeline in this area was then traced using the pipe and cable locator and marked with a water- based paint. A leak detection correlate was set up on the contact points with the loudest leak signal and a measurement of the distance between them was taken. This provided the distance from each contact point to the source of the acoustic leak signal. The service lines feeding the nearby buildings were checked for the presence leaks in this area by acoustically testing their shut off valves. Pipe material and distance from the main were factored into consideration along with the acoustic leak signal observed on the service shut off valves to determine that there was not a leak on any of the nearby service lines. This meant the source of the water loss was the result of a break on the main itself. The road surface along the water main was tested acoustically using the acoustic listening device in the area indicated by the leak detection correlate. Significant acoustic leak signal was observed building to a point, and then diminishing past it. The section along the main identified as having the strongest acoustic leak signal was marked by painting a white box, approximately 6’ X 4’, around it. After Jeffrey had left the site, the area identified was excavated, the leak was found and subsequently repaired. This resolved the drastic water loss for the city of Boston.
In addition to the leak detection services described here,GPRS also offers a variety of utility location services, video pipe inspections, sewer inspections, hydrostatic pressure testing, and comprehensive leak surveys for municipal water systems in Boston, New York, and other surrounding states. To schedule a leak detection project in theBoston area, or to obtain more information about other GPRS services, please visit gprsinc.com or call 303-945-5415.
GPRS also provides leak detection services in the following surrounding areas: Quincy MA, Waltham MA, and Newton MA.
Note: GPRS does not provide geophysical, geological, land surveying or engineering services. If you need such services, please contact an appropriate professional.