Case 14525

Methodology for Detecting and Localizing Pipe Burst Events in a Water Distribution System


Pipe burst, multiscale wavelet analysis, burst localization, transient detection


Detecting and locating pipe bursts in urban water distribution systems


Sudden pipe bursts can be very expensive due to the outage time while the burst pipe is repaired, the cost of repair, and damage to surrounding property and infrastructure. Minimization of detection and location time after the burst events is preferred.


This invention presents a technique for detecting and locating pipe burst events in water distribution systems. The proposed method uses wavelet analysis of the high-rate pressure data to detect transient pipe burst events. Multiscale wavelet analysis of the pressure signal is shown to be robust to impulsive noise encountered in the physical phenomena under observation. The wavelet coefficients also allow obtaining additional information about the nature of the signal feature detected and can be used for feature classification. A local search method is proposed to accurately determine the arrival time of the pressure transient associated with the pipe burst event. A graph-based localization algorithm is also proposed which uses the arrival times of the pressure transient at different measurement points within the water distribution system to determine the actual location of the pipe burst. The performance of the proposed techniques has been validated through leak-off experiments performed on the in-situ hydraulic test bed deployed on the drinking water distribution system in Singapore. This test bed consists of a wireless network of sensors that gather and process hydraulic data in real time.

  • Applicable to a real large urban-area Water Distribution System
  • Only three measurement points are sufficient to uniquely determine the location of the burst
  • Greatly reduces the burst location time

  • Seshan Srirangarajan (Nanyang Technological University)

Intellectual Property:

US Provisional Patent Application 61/382487 filed on 9/13/2010


S. Srirangarajan, M. Allen, A. Preis, M. Iqbal, H. B. Lim, and A. J. Whittle, “Water Main Burst Event Detection and Localization”, In Proc. 12th Water Distribution Systems Analysis Conference (WDSA), September 2010.

S. Srirangarajan, M. Allen, A. Preis, M. Iqbal, H. B. Lim, and A. J. Whittle, “Wavelet-Based Burst Event Detection and Localization in Water Distribution Systems”, Submitted to Journal of Signal Processing Systems, Springer, August 2011.

Last revised: Aug 24, 2011

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