Millions of litres of water lost from leaking underground pipes could be saved through an innovative solution developed by pioneering technology company FIDO Tech and University of the West of Scotland (UWS) academics.
The cloud-based solution has been designed to accurately detect the location of hidden leaks – 90% of underground pipe leaks never show above ground – allowing water utility companies to source the leak more accurately than ever before.
FIDO Cloud Correlation provides a simple and effective processing method, using artificial intelligence, to accurately detect the size and location of leaks within seconds. *Utility companies lose around 500,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools of water from pipe leaks, annually. This solution will revolutionise current leak detection processes while dramatically reducing water wastage – contributing to global sustainability objectives.
Professor Milan Radosavljevic, Vice-Principal of Research, Innovation and Engagement at UWS, said: “This is a ground-breaking system that not only helps to streamline processes for water utility companies, it also contributes directly to UWS’s commitment to the United Nations Sustainability Goals.”
“The pioneering system uses small sensors which attach magnetically to pipes and record simultaneous acoustic samples that are then uploaded to the cloud system using a simple user-friendly smartphone app for automatic signal processing. Exact results of the leak’s location between the two sensors are received within seconds.”
“This is a ground-breaking system that not only helps to streamline processes for water utility companies, it also contributes directly to UWS’s commitment to the United Nations Sustainability Goals.”Professor Milan Radosavljevic, Vice-Principal of Research, Innovation and Engagement at UWS
Victoria Edwards, CEO, FIDO Tech said:
“With the support of UWS to create Cloud Correlation, we have now combined our AI-enabled leak detection and sizing with the power of cloud computing to give engineers exact leak location in the field. This further eliminates human input, and therefore error, from the leak process freeing up skilled human talent for more complex tasks like pressure management and investigation, where it has more value.”
“Around 30% of the world’s treated drinking water is lost from pipeline networks before it ever reaches our taps**. FIDO Tech is committed to saving that water to protect communities and the environment we love from the impacts of climate change.
“UNESCO called reducing water leaks a low or no regrets response to climate change because it ties into adaptation and mitigation. Around four per cent of global power production goes into abstracting, treating and transporting water***. Reducing wastage through leakage, particularly in areas where power is generated using fossil fuels, both conserves resources and reduces emissions.”
Funded through Innovate UK’s Knowledge Transfer Partnership programme, the success of this KTP project has been the result of close collaboration between UWS and FIDO Tech, through the placement of a specialist KTP Associate – a graduate who is employed by the University to contribute specialist knowledge and skills.
Muhammad Zeeshan Shakir, of UWS’s School of Computing, Engineering and Physical Sciences, said: “We are incredibly grateful to Innovate UK for the funding received which enabled this collaborative project to take place. UWS’s KTP programme continues to blaze a trail in terms of innovation.
“The outcomes of this project will increase access to clean drinking water and sanitation, contributing significantly to addressing sustainability aims globally and helping cities, even in developed nations, avoid the threat of Day Zero.”
“With the support of UWS to create Cloud Correlation, we have now combined our AI-enabled leak detection and sizing with the power of cloud computing to give engineers exact leak location in the field.”
Knowledge Transfer Partnerships are a flagship programme from Innovate UK and form a collaboration between a business, an academic institution and a graduate. The graduate is employed by the academic institution as a ‘KTP Associate’ who works full-time at the business involved, under the guidance of an expert academic team. This three-way partnership forges strong ties between industry and academia and helps to deliver solutions to real-world problems.