Why are bursts so challenging?

Pipeline bursts can create significant challenges for customers as their supply is cut off for a period of time.

These bursts or 'interruptions to supply' are often the subject of regulatory measures that can cost the utility £millions in penalty payments.

Reducing the duration of these interruptions, by quickly identifying the location of the burst, rather than having an operator ‘walk the line’ to locate the failure, can be key to managing the operational response.

Localisation of burst events

Alongside alerting the occurrence of a burst event, Syrinix PIPEMINDER units working together, send data to RADAR our cloud data platform, where an algorithm is run to state the estimated location of that event.

Identifying the source of a major transient is automated and Syrinix term this 'Triangulation'. This functionality provides deeper insight into large failures on the network and enables increased operational efficiencies.


Map view of harmful events
Red flag depicts the location of the burst

How does Triangulation work?

When a large event is detected by more than two PIPEMINDER sensors, the high-resolution data is sent immediately to RADAR for analysis.

Using accurate GIS mapping data, the onset time of the pressure wave, and the wave speed of the pipe are calculated. This algorithm quickly analyses the event and alerts the burst location.


Graph showing burst on a water pipe
Graph showing Burst Alarm on RADAR cloud data platform

Anglian Water

Anglian Water deployed PIPEMINDER devices in an area that has seen a history of burst pipes.

Consistent pressure drops indicated a leak, and in reviewing network pressures from all deployed devices it was possible to locate and repair this leak.

The pressure held stable but 3 days later this increase in maintained pressure on an already fragile main lead to the pipe bursting.


Intelligent information

The onset time of the burst detected at each monitored site is a function of the distance from the burst and the wave speed of the pipe.

Using this together with accurate GIS data the burst location can be stated.

Utilities using the Intelligence that Syrinix provides, now have access to faster localisation of transient sources like a sudden break, water theft, or aggressive industrial usage.

“This example opened our eyes to the benefit that permanent high-frequency pressure monitoring can provide. Not only can we identify and solve pre-existing issues such as the leak, but we can then have constant accurate monitoring for future events, such as the burst main.”
Fionn Boyle, Shop Window Project Manager, Anglian Water

Burst detection and localisation articles