Pipeline Leak Location

HGI provides innovative deployment of geophysical techniques for the detection of subsurface pipeline leak location.  Subsurface pipes can exist in almost any environment; from water and sewage pipes in residential and commercial areas to material transfer pipes in industrial settings.  The liquids and gasses transported in pipelines vary from simple water to oil, gas, sewage, or nuclear waste.   Operation and maintenance of subsurface pipelines can be challenging due to their size, location, and length.   Leaks can occur due to a multitude of reasons, including pipe and joint defects, unreported damage, and failure of infrastructure due to it being used past the designed lifespan.  When a pipeline leaks, the ability to locate leaks quickly and effectively is critical to mitigating and reducing environmental damage in the case of a release.   Geophysical techniques rely on detecting a contrast in properties caused by the leaking fluid from the pipeline, as compared to non-leak areas. Being non-invasive, these techniques can be deployed in almost any environment, such as roadways, parking lots, industrial sites, and at sites where hazardous wastes may be encountered.

Pipeline leak location technology relies on detecting a contrast in properties caused by the leaking fluid from the pipeline…

HGI can employ a range of geophysical methods, including electrical resistivity and ground penetrating radar, for detecting leaks in subsurface pipelines.  The choice of methods will depend on multiple factors; for example, pipeline size and depth, survey size, environment (residential, industrial), and fluid being transported.  One pipeline specific leak detection system developed by HGI includes the multi-channel Time Domain Electromagnetic (TDEM) system.  TDEM methods provide a measure of the electrical conductivity of the subsurface and the presence of a leak will increase or decrease the electrical conductivity of subsurface materials with respect to surrounding areas where no leak is present.  The TDEM system detects resulting contrasts and provides spatial and depth information on the extent of the leak.  The complete system is highly mobile allowing for rapid and efficient coverage and can be towed behind an ATV for large scale surveys.

Underground Infrastructure Pipeline Leak Location

Underground Infrastructure Leak Location

Above is a cartoon representation of the multi-channel TDEM system mounted behind an ATV.  In the absence of a leak the TDEM signal displays only the pipe response denoted by the red dots, the effect of a leak on the TDEM signal is displayed on the image by white dots.  In addition, HGI  utilizes a suite of traditional geophysical tools to detect subsurface leaks from pipelines, including electrical resistivity and ground penetrating radar.

For a pipeline leak location case study, follow the link below:

Historical leak detection using a multi-channel TDEM system at an industrial site pipeline.