Traditionally, we associate water leak detection with the subterranean rather than the extra-terrestrial. But at any given moment, satellites orbiting at nearly 400 miles above sea level are being used by ASTERRA to detect thousands of leaks that until now have been invisible to ground crews.
The technology has proven so successful that at some point this Autumn ASTERRA will surpass an important milestone—100,000 verified leak detections since their product Recover was first launched in 2016. As for the next 100,000? With their patented technology becoming ever more refined, those leaks will be found at an increasingly rapid rate — furthermore, they will include thousands of wastewater as well as water leaks.
“This technology has the potential to revolutionise the way we find and fix leaks across our water network,” says Chris Utton, Leakage Intensive Delivery Manager for Anglian Water. ASTERRA are midway through a project with Anglian that so far recovered over two million litres of non-revenue water (NRW) per day, enough to supply 8,000 homes in the Anglian region. “Gone are all the low-hanging fruits and quick wins, we’re now into the realms of tracking down really hard-to-find leaks, long before they’re visible to the naked eye, to fix them quicker and save as much precious water as possible,” added Utton.
Fixing leaks is paramount to a sustainable future for water utilities. The UK loses 3 billion litres of water each day to NRW. According to the World Bank, almost 90 billion litres of water are lost daily around the world, accounting for up to half of all the water pumped globally. Considering that the water industry uses as much energy as the aviation industry, a truly staggering amount of energy as well as water could be saved, making leak detection a decarbonization as well as an NRW solution.
In partnership with SUEZ, ASTERRA has helped the UK become the world’s leading early adopter of satellite leak detection technology. One customer, South Staffs Water, achieved leakage savings of over 2 million litres per day with leaks detected across all asset types (mains, customer, ferrule, valve, hydrant, etc) as well as different ground cover conditions (tarmac, earth, concrete, brick, etc) and pipe materials. In December, Suez and ASTERRA were awarded a four-year £2 million contract to help Northern Ireland Water reduce their NRW by 150 Ml/d by 2027. According to Nick Haskins, Business Development Manager at SUEZ, the agreement “reflects the needs of our changing world – providing a smart and environmental solution to the challenge of finding leaks.”
ASTERRA will be at the Environmental Services and Solutions Expo, September 13-14th at the NEC Birmingham, UK. Jonathan Lynch, ASTERRA’s Geotechnical Lead will present at the Contamination and Land Remediation track of the Expo (10:30 am on the 13th in the Technical Theatre.)