Liner Leak Location

HGI has an astounding success record for liner leak location in containment structures lined with HDPE and geosynthetics containing highly conductive solutions such as processed mine waste-water, brine solution, PLS from copper and gold mines, among others.  Our liner leak location approach is a unique technology in the liner leak detection market, and one that is recognized by our growing list of clients, liner installers, liner manufacturers and our competitors.

HGI’s years of experience with geophysical leak location methods on HDPE geomembrane liners in highly conductive solutions surpasses any other liner leak location methods on the market today.  Our services work in any type of fluid or solution, conductive or otherwise.

HGI has been performing liner leak location in structures such as ponds, lagoons, and leach pads lined with HDPE geosynthetics successfully for over 18 years.

Liner integrity depends on construction quality and ongoing maintenance through end of life.  Approximately 2% of geomembrane lined facilities in the US are currently surveyed for leaks and few facilities require liner integrity testing.  In fact, there is rarely a requirement for any kind of leak testing within the US (CA and NY are exceptions) until a leak is suspected.   When a leak does occur, operators must act fast to avoid hefty fines and potential closure because of noncompliance.  With HGI’s tools and experience we can locate leaks efficiently, in a timely manner, helping owners become compliant with state regulations thus avoiding hefty fines and potential down time.

Through over 18 years of quality work and innovation using geophysical electrical methods, HGI is able to boast a success rate better than any method or technology on the market today.   In projects where complexities are high, such as geopmembrane lined heap leach pads in mining, landfills, and ponds, HGI will work with client expectations about the success of the method so they can make an informed decision moving forward.

Floating liner leak location array for ponds

Floating Leak Detection Leak Location Array

HGI’s preferred method for liner leak location involves electrical methods; where there is no need to drain or introduce personnel into the pond or structure.  The electrical method applied to any geosynthetic liner  is based on the premise that electric current will flow through the same pathways that water flows.  In this situation, those pathways are cracks in the concrete, tears in the HDPE, and/or metallic infrastructure such as inlet pipes that couple the pond to the earth beneath.

Electrical liner leak location applied to any geosynthetic liner  is based on the premise that electric current will flow through the same pathways that water flows…

We incorporate fundamental aspects of the ASTM standards into our proprietary methods, but also incorporate deviations based on our experience in both hardware, software, and knowledge base stemming from our legacy at the Hanford Nuclear Facility.  This has allowed us to invest several hundred thousand dollars into developing more sophisticated electronics than our competitors.   Due to the proprietary nature of our approach, methods, and technology, technical information is not expanded upon on in this website.  Our proof of success lies with our clients that have found success using HGI ’s methods where traditional HDPE geomembrane liner leak location technologies have failed.  While current methods are sound procedures, HGI is increasingly involved in projects where traditional methods are unsuccessful due to the conductivity of the solution, site complexity, and operator error.

Our innovative approach allows HGI to archive and post-process the data, present easy to understand maps highlighting anomalous readings associated with the leaks, and reduce human error throughout the process of liner leak location.  Surveys can include a global positioning system (GPS) to record the location of detected leaks.

Comparing HGI’s method to that of other leak detection companies, the fundamental principles are the same:  transmit current through tears in liners and measure data.  However, HGI’s methodology delivers a number of improvements and cost savings including:

  • Storing data for post-survey processing and interpretation instead of listening to sound of current in real-time – this absolutely takes the subjectivity out of the equation.
  • Ponds that HGI surveys can be filled to maximum capacity prior to surveying.   This allows for a complete survey for leaks along the slope and bottom of the pond all in one setup. This is logistically easier for site operations because other companies may only be able to operate in knee-deep water, requiring overnight filling so that new territory can be acquired.
  • Automated data collection.
  • Systems designed for submersion of independent sensors into water filled ponds from waters edge.
  • HGI uses multiple sensor arrays, providing an important statistical sense of leak responses and their validity.
  • From a safety perspective, personnel never have to enter the pond.
  • Highly trained personnel – every job has a senior member as part of the field crew.
  • Color contoured maps are provided in the report to our clients (see below figure).
  • GPS positioned targets.

 Below is a contoured liner leak location plot showing the location of leaks in a HDPE geosynthetic liner for a mine in Utah.

Contoured Liner Leak Location Results for mining ponds.

Contoured Liner Leak Location Results