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A Pragmatic Approach for Leakage Detection Based on the Analysis of Observed Data and Hydraulic Simulations

MARZOLA, Irene; MAZZONI, Filippo; ALVISI, Stefano; FRANCHINI, Marco

Leakages in water distribution system is an important issue that can led to economic losses for the water utilities, insufficient pressure and potential health risk. In this work, a pragmatic approach is adopted to detect and localize leakage events, based on the analysis of the observed pressures and flows and the use of a hydraulic model of the network. The developed approach consists of a first hydraulic model calibration phase in order to realistically represent the hydraulic behaviour of the network. Secondly, the observed inflows and water demands are analysed to identify leakage number, entity and time of occurrence with engineering judgment. Each identified leakage is then spatially localised through an enumerative procedure, assigning it to each pipe of the network in turn and assessing the error in terms of differences between observed and simulated pressures. The pipe featuring the lowest error is thus selected. The approach is simple and transparent and it allows to identify the history of leakages occurred only by relying on data observed and the iterative use of the network model.

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