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DETECTION OF WATER LEAKS USING GROUND PENETRATING RADAR

DETECTION OF WATER LEAKS USING GROUND PENETRATING RADAR,Sami Eyuboglu,Hanan Mahdi,Haydar Al-Shukri

DETECTION OF WATER LEAKS USING GROUND PENETRATING RADAR   (Citations: 1)
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Laboratory experiments were used to investigate the potential of using ground penetrating radar (GPR) to detect water leaks in the underground distribution system. Leaks not only waste precious natural resources, they create substantial damage to the transportation system and structure within urban and suburban environments. Surface geophysical methods are non- invasive, trenchless tools used to characterize the physical properties of the subsurface material. This characterization is then used to interpret the geologic and hydrogeologic conditions of the subsurface. Many geophysical techniques have been suggested as candidates for detecting water leakage, including GPR, acoustic devices, gas sampling devices and pressure wave detectors. GPR is a reflection technique which uses high frequency electromagnetic waves to acquire subsurface information. GPR responds to changes in electrical properties, which are a function of soil and rock material and moisture content. A series of laboratory experiments were conducted to determine the validity and effectiveness of GPR technology in detecting water leakage in metal and plastic PVC pipes. Initially, a prototype laboratory model was designed to simulate a pipe leak. Holes were drilled in the middle of the pipe to allow the water leak into a simulated soil (sand). The metal and PVC pipes were tested separately by burying them in sand to a depth of 18 and 20 cm, respectively. Water was then injected into the pipe from the surface through a plastic hose. A 1.5 GHz antenna was used to collect GPR data. Although the experiment was very well controlled, results obtained so far indicate that GPR is effective in detecting water leaks. An outdoor test bed is currently under construction in collaboration with Central Arkansas Water (CAW) to simulate and detect water leaks in underground water systems using the GPR technique. Pipes that are commonly used for water distribution in the city of Little Rock, AR, will be used for the test. The test bed will be constructed using soil material that is representative of the region. Advanced digital signal processing will be implemented to enhance the anomalies. Also model simulations will be used to select an appropriate equipment configuration (frequency band, type of antenna and real-time imaging software) prior to data acquisition.
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