Leak Detection Process

Our Leak Detection Surveys Are Performed by Following an 7-Step Process

  1. Review old as-builts and interview facilities personnel regarding whereabouts of underground water lines and the potential leak.
  2. Perform an initial on-site consultation with the client to determine the scope of work and find out where they think the leak might be located.
  3. Visually inspect the site for one or more of the following clues:
    • Wet spots in landscaped areas and/or water pooling on the ground surface.
    • An area that is green, moldy, soft, or mossy surrounded by drier conditions.
    • A noticeable drop in water pressure or flow volume.
    • A sudden problem with rusty water or dirt or air in the water supply (there are other causes for this besides a leak).
    • A portion of an irrigated area is suddenly brown, dead, or dying, when it used to be thriving (water pressure is too low to enable distant heads to pop up properly)
    • Heaving or cracking of asphalt areas.
    • Sink holes or potholes.
    • Uneven floor grade or leaning of a structure.
    • Unexplained sudden increase in water use, consistently high water use, or water use that has been climbing at a fairly steady rate for several billing cycles.
  4. Mark the location and depth of the water line or lines in question, using blue paint and/or flags.
  5. Conduct a leak detection survey, usually by progressing in the following order:
    1. Acoustic Ground Microphone Survey - Scan across the entire length of the line ground using a ground microphone and listen for the spot where there is audible evidence of the leak.
    2. Acoustic Correlating Logger Survey - Place a correlating logger at each end of the line, Points A and B, from a building, shut off valve, pit, or hydrant. Run a couple of sound readings to listen for audible evidence of the leak, and if there is a leak, its distance from both points will be displayed on a laptop, enabling us to measure to this spot in the field.
    3. Helium Gas Detection Survey - Shut off the water service, drain the line, isolate it, and blow an Helium-air mixture into it using an air compressor, and scan across the entire length of the line using a Helium detector to search for the spot where the gas escapes.
  6. Mark the location of the underground water leak or leaks with pink paint and/or flags.
  7. Perform a final on-site consultation with the client to explain the results of the survey, including a thorough explanation of any limitations or areas of concern.
A Technician Searching for an Underground Water Leak