Satellite imaging technology – used for over 20 years to detect the presence of water on distant planets – is helping our water company customers locate leaks more effectively in the UK.
We take images from satellite-mounted sensors and overlay them on geographic information systems. Using a unique algorithm that detects treated water, this patented system can locate leaks more efficiently over large areas. Each image covers a 3500km² area of land – big enough to cover most UK cities, and thousands of kilometres of pipework.
Many factors contribute to water leakage within a network, such as ageing infrastructure and pipe damage caused by freezing weather or heavy traffic on roads. The far-flung nature of distribution networks and the need to balance preventive and responsive works, while minimising disruption and cost, add to the challenge.
This innovative technology allows water companies to tackle the problem at scale.
Satellite leak detection is a novel, strategic solution that enables water companies to monitor entire distribution systems in an accurate and systematic way, without making changes or installing equipment to existing infrastructure.
The benefits of this approach include: