Water leak case study – Metered water leaks are costly, how do you find them?

Author: Graham Mann, Water Audit Expert.

Water leaks can be extremely costly and on a large site with numerous water connections finding them needs vast levels of experience and skill.

The water leaks are quantified by installing an on line water data logging device onto the customers water meter, this device transmits a pulse generated from the water meter to a web based data platform and produces an actual water flow graph accurately quantifying the water leaks, in this instance over 23 cubic metres per hour or £ 60 per hour water loss.

Data logger on water meter

The suspect water leak area had been narrowed down to a 100m section of 6″ water pipe, the drainage inspection covers were lifted in order to determine whether any of the leaked water is entering these chambers, this gives a firmer indication of the likely area of the leak.  In this instance the water ingress is visible in the top right corner.

Leaking water entering manhole


As the leakage team (me included at this time) knew where the water pipe was sounding techniques were carried out using a listening stick, the steal rod connected to the bar piece amplifies the water leak noise and by placing the listen stick over the area often the leak area can be identified.

Graham Mann Water Audit Expert using a listening stick

The final operation is to home in on the exact point of leakage by using electronic aqua phones, a device far superior to the human ear this will amplify many times the leak noise and a skilled leakage engineer will mark down the exact point of excavation and repair. In this instance the water leak has been running for many year undetected.

Water leak detection using aqua phones