Finding and fixing water leaks before summer

Published 13 Nov 2023

Ever wondered how to find a leak in a water pipe? If you’re dealing with a whole town’s water supply, you may need headphones and a couple of microphones. Analysing soundwaves give leak detection technicians a clue as to where the leaks are located using correlators, with accuracy within metres.

Tararua Alliance has brought forward its regular leak detection maintenance to ensure our towns’ water supply pipes are in top shape before summer. Prolonged heat and dry weather can cause ground to shrink, which in turn can cause movement in pipes as well as faults or damage to pipelines that can turn into leaks.

Tararua Alliance Three Waters Asset Manager Marcus Clifford says the data gathered from this rapid network testing will identify leaks in the water pipes that can be fixed promptly by the Tararua Alliance – as well as spotlighting how many leaks there are on private property.

“Our testing teams are also finding leaks in pipes on private property. We do this the same way we find leaks on the water mains pipes so we don’t have to go onto private property. The testers place microphones at each end of a section of pipe and listen to the soundwave to determine if there is a leak.”

Tararua Alliance 3-Waters staff completed leak detection across the  Dannevirke pipe network working nights through winter, as it’s often easier to distinguish sounds when people are using less water. “This time we have brought in additional technical experts in this field to help us get the data we need across all the towns and fast. In the next week or so we will have a data map of all the identified possible leaks in Eketahuna, Pahiatua and Woodville then a verification process will be undertaken   and  prioritise resources to fix the biggest leaks first.”

“As far as fixing leaks go, Tararua Alliance’s water team fixes leaks on the mains network and home owners are responsible for fixing leaks on their properties from the boundary of the property.”