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Finding Solutions for Pipe Leakages with Predictive Analytics

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 According to the reports from the Bureau of Meteorology, non-revenue water loss over the past five years in Australia is nearly 900,000ML. A huge amount of water loss was caused by the pipe leakages. So, as you can see, it is a huge problem for the Australian water management authorities to spot pipe leakages in advance. Sometimes, what massive challenges like this need is the touch of innovation. That is where technologies like ‘Predictive Analytics’ are required.

In this article, we will discover what predictive analytics is, what the main causes of pipe leakages in Australia, and how predictive analytics becomes the best technological companion for water management parties.

Introducing 'Predictive Analytics’


Predictive analytics is a way of utilising historical and up-to-date data to make projections about what will occur in the future. Analysts can forecast what the future might include by examining both the present and the past, using statistical analytic tools to the data, and then drawing conclusions.

This is just one aspect of the cutting-edge ‘Data Analytics’. Along with a few different kinds of data analysis, predictive analysis is gaining popularity in the business world. These are Prescriptive analytics, Diagnostic analytics, Descriptive analytics, and Real-time analytics.

Further, to obtain the greatest results, this cutting-edge technology is integrated with statistical modelling, data mining methods, and machine learning algorithms often. The latter’s structure is enriched with various technological models such as classification, clustering, and time series to extend its fullest capacity.

The Main Causes of Pipe Leakages


The number one culprit behind the pipe leakages is undoubtedly corrosion. But the major fact here is that it does not occur over one night for sure. But it happens slowly and sneakily. The harsh chemicals and other materials in the treated water can cause the pipes that carry water to become damaged over time. This is exactly similar to what happens with a metallic material left outside many times. As a result, the pipes start to develop cracks and holes inside them.

As it is evident, corrosion can get worse based on various factors, such as what type of water it transports and what the pipes are built of, etc. If the authorities are not able to spot this without wasting time, it will harm the pipes themselves as well as the environment.

High-Pressure Water

Nothing too much is good for anything; the same theory applies to the water pipes, too. The force of high-pressure water running through pipes expresses its potential to degrade the pipe construction. When a powerful water flow occurs, it causes ongoing stress. This will lead to wear and tear inside the pipes. This basically depends on other factors such as water velocity, temperature, and pipe material. With time, the walls of the pipe become more unstable due to wear, eventually leading to cracks, fractures, or even severe collapses.

Another impact of this is that pipes may also experience additional damage from water hammer effects, which happen when the flow is suddenly stopped or diverted. That is why it is highly necessary to conduct rigorous pressure monitoring and constant maintenance of the pipes.

Tree Roots

As another primary cause of pipe leaks, the ingrowth and penetration of tree roots pose a significant challenge to the management of water treatment plants. It is common knowledge that tree roots seek wet areas. But the risk here is, they could involve water pipelines buried beneath the earth. As they develop, they can enter pipelines through tiny joints or cracks available, taking advantage of existing flaws in the pipes.

Once these roots enter the pipe, they continue to grow and spread, putting pressure on the walls. This will lead to breaking or cracking them as a result. It is quite visible that this intrusion compromises the quality and safety of treated water through the release of impurities into the water supply while causing water loss.

How Can Predictive Analytics Provide Solutions for Pipe Leakages

Constant Asset Condition Monitoring

Predictive maintenance algorithms create a continuous evaluation system for water pipes and related infrastructure using the strength of predictive analytics technology. This strategy involves ongoing asset health monitoring by water management authorities. The best thing about this is that they are able to avoid significant leaks or fatal emergencies by being proactive in identifying and managing decaying pipelines.

This is known as a proactive strategy in water management. It can protect the functioning and integrity of the water distribution network. Also, it significantly reduces the need for emergency repairs and water loss from unexpected pipe breaks. In today’s world, the latter has become a necessity for well-functioning water-transmitting pipes.

Advance Leak Detection

Predictive analytics algorithms play an essential part in water management as they assist with leak detection. It can provide early warnings by delving into historical data and real-time information about the pipe condition. This technology employs aspects such as water flow rates, pressure levels, temperature fluctuations, and other pertinent parameters to arrive at decisions.

But how is this possible? It is not that complex for the advanced algorithms of predictive analytics. It makes use of pattern recognition for sorting through large datasets and identifying tiny variations that will be risky for the pipes as an outcome. In other words, this can act as a potential early warning indication.

Comprehensive Risk Assessment

We have discussed two major benefits of predictive technology. However, the most important capability of the latter is undoubtedly its risk assessment capacity. Do you agree? It provides assistance for the water management parties to conduct comprehensive risk assessments across various segments of the water distribution network.

These evaluations take important factors into consideration, such as the age of the pipes, their material composition, the nature of the soil, and their history of leaks. Predictive analytics combined with other technologies like IoT, Digital Twin, etc., could effectively locate regions that have higher levels of sensitivity to leaks in the future.  The priority of repair and replacement projects is then based on this information, which is why this technology is useful for water management initiatives.

Optimised Maintenance Scheduling

These analytics solutions are enriched with estimation capabilities as we mentioned before. It uses historical data, real-time monitoring, and a variety of influencing factors to estimate probable leaks in the water distribution network with nearly 100% accuracy. The data they receive through the use of sophisticated software solutions is what enables organisations to strategically allocate resources and schedule maintenance tasks in advance.

That is one excellent way to ensure that upkeep efforts are carried out at the precise time and location where they are most required. What is the outcome expected? This proactive approach conveniently minimises the downtime associated with emergency repairs. Plus, it significantly reduces the overall costs involved in addressing infrastructure failures.

Encouraging Innovative Solutions with High-Levels of Technology


As the industrial world expands, the requirements and the challenges they encounter become more complex. These obstacles can not be resolved with traditional approaches. That is where you require an innovative answer!  Technology is something that comes to save the day as the best solution here. You should opt for modern solutions if you need to see the growth while finding ideal solutions for all your problems. Conduct thorough research before jumping to conclusions-this is our friendly reminder for you.

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