Leak Detection and Thermal Imaging Technology

Leak Detection Atlanta can cause damage to property and lead to an increase in water usage. These problems can be expensive and time-consuming to solve.

If you suspect a leak in your home, shut off the water supply at the main valve. Check the leak indicator (a dial) on your meter for movement, and wait 1 or 2 hours without using any water to see if the reading changes.

In the case of water, leaks produce distinct sounds that can be heard with specialized equipment. These sounds are caused when water escapes from a pressurized system and reverberates against the pipes or surrounding structures. Leak detection systems can listen for these unique acoustic signals and pinpoint their source using specialized software.

Acoustic detection can also detect small leaks that would otherwise go unnoticed, allowing utilities to minimize the amount of water lost and reduce costly repairs. It can also help them save on utility bills and prevent the potential for property damage caused by flooding or mold growth.

Acoustic leak detection is a non-intrusive method for monitoring systems and can identify leaks without disrupting operations or accessing the pipe. It does not require an external power source, making it ideal for remote or inaccessible areas that are difficult to reach with other technologies. Additionally, acoustic leak detection methods can be used alongside other techniques to improve the chances of finding a leak.

This technology uses microphones and sensors to listen for leaks and can hear the distinctive acoustic signature of escaping water. These noises can range from whooshing to hissing or thumping, depending on the size and type of leak. Acoustic sensor data is analyzed and compared to normal operating conditions to detect anomalies that may indicate the presence of a leak. Acoustic sensors can also be used to measure the rate at which a leak is occurring, which allows utilities to take corrective actions quickly and minimize costs.

Another benefit of acoustic leak detection is that it can work on any type of pipe, including plastic and PVC, as well as steel, cast iron, or ductile iron. It can also be used on buried pipes in soil, rock, or other media. While it is not as accurate for underground pipes as other methods, it is the quickest and easiest way to search for, detect, and pinpoint a leak.

Acoustic leak detection can be a valuable asset for any company that uses compressed air or vacuum systems, or that has gases like carbon dioxide in its production processes. The ability to locate and pinpoint leaks quickly can significantly reduce the risk of dangerous explosions or fires, and help maintain the integrity of vital infrastructure. In addition, the ability to identify leaks early on can significantly reduce energy costs, as compressed air and other gasses are expensive to replace.


Laser-based LiDAR scans the surrounding environment and generates 3D maps. Its advantages include the ability to see through dense vegetation and even water, allowing you to spot leaks from a bird’s-eye view.

A LiDAR system pulses a laser beam from mobile systems like automobiles, airplanes, drones, or satellites through the air and into the surface of the Earth, including bare ground, vegetation, and water. The pulses are reflected back to the scanner, measuring distances and angles. This data is collected into a point cloud, a spatial dataset that includes every x, y, and z positional value of the laser pulses. Each point can be assigned a class that determines the type of surface it reflects off of, such as bare ground, vegetation (low, medium, and high), buildings, or water. These points are combined into a Digital Elevation Model, or DEM.

The DEM is an extremely precise representation of the Earth’s surface environment. This nuanced insight is invaluable for hydrological modeling, geological analysis, and landform mapping. A LiDAR-generated DTM also provides valuable insights when studying archaeological sites and uncovering hidden features that would be impossible to find with other methods.

As a result, the data from LiDAR can help improve crop yields by providing insights into soil conditions and facilitating effective irrigation strategies. It can also aid in dam and levee maintenance by identifying erosion risks and enabling proactive action. This minimizes disruption to transportation systems and maintains the integrity of critical infrastructure.

For natural gas companies, the information provided by LiDAR enables rapid and efficient response to potential leaks. This information reveals not only whether there are methane leaks, but also where they are located and the severity of the leak. This allows natural gas providers to prioritize repairs based on location and impact.

LiDAR can also be used to monitor regulated methane emissions, helping companies track and quantify their reductions. It has the sensitivity to catch up to 90% of total methane emissions on average, ensuring accurate reduction tracking and preventing costly negative publicity. GPS coordinates can direct crews to source equipment directly, saving on costs and risk.


Drones are small to medium-sized unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) that can be flown by remote control and have a number of built-in sensors. They are powered by electric, jet or combustion motors. Depending on the drone’s use, they may have two, three or more propellers. A central flight controller manages the drone’s stability and controls the speed of each propeller. The sensors include GPS, radar control, infrared and high-resolution cameras.

In addition to military and industrial applications, drones are increasingly being used by law enforcement agencies for surveillance, espionage and targeting of suspected criminals. These aircraft also have a range of civilian applications, including photography and filming, property inspection, search and rescue operations and delivery of goods.

Using drones for leak detection and other surveys allows companies to save on fuel and personnel costs. They can also quickly spot material loss or equipment failures and identify the cause, avoiding costly downtime. In the field of energy, drones can be used at solar or wind power plants to assess the condition of facilities, reduce maintenance costs and improve performance.

Another area of application is agriculture and other natural resources. For example, drones can be used to spray pesticides, monitor irrigation systems and harvest crops more accurately. They can also be employed in environmental protection programs to keep tabs on wildlife populations and prevent illegal hunting.

The rapid adoption of drones over the last decade has prompted privacy, security and safety concerns. Many people fear their homes, businesses and private events are being monitored by drones, which are sometimes operated by amateur operators such as paparazzi and voyeurs. Some governments have responded to these concerns by limiting drone usage or restricting it entirely in certain areas.

Increasingly, drones are being used in the defense industry, primarily for surveillance and reconnaissance, although they can also be equipped with weapons to attack enemy targets. The most advanced military drones are equipped with electro-optical imaging, mid-wave infrared imagers and laser rangefinders, and can reach speeds of more than 300 kilometers per hour. They can even hover in mid-air.

Thermal Imaging

Thermal imaging, or infrared thermography, is a technology that uses sensors to detect radiated heat or temperature variations. This heat is invisible to the human eye, but a thermal camera can interpret it and display it as a visual image. Thermal imaging cameras can be a valuable tool for many industries, especially those involved in leak detection and building maintenance.

Leaks and moisture problems can lead to serious damage and costly repairs, but they can be difficult to find without destructive testing. Thermal imaging can detect minuscule levels of water or moisture infiltration, even in walls and ceilings. This allows contractors to make accurate, early detection of potential problems and take preventative action before the situation worsens.

Moisture infiltration can be caused by a variety of factors, including condensation, pipe leaks, rain and snow, and even the natural humidity of a home or building. Moisture can cause wood and other materials to rot, degrade or fail. However, a lot of moisture infiltration isn’t visible until it’s too late. Thermal imaging is a non-invasive, effective way to identify hidden moisture issues in a structure before they become severe problems.

There are two types of thermal imaging cameras – cooled and uncooled. Cooled thermal imagers use a vacuum-sealed case and cryogenically cooled sensors to enhance their sensitivity and enable them to detect tiny differences in heat. They are typically used in scientific and military applications, but are also available to the general public through professional hardware stores and online retailers. Uncooled thermal imagers operate at ambient temperatures and are more commonly used in everyday applications.

A thermal imaging camera can be used in combination with other leak detection methods to locate a specific location of a buried water line leak, for example. This can save time and money by allowing utility locators to avoid extensive excavation work that would otherwise be required when finding a buried leak. It can also help to save energy costs by locating leaks before they become severe and enabling the repair and insulation process to begin as soon as possible. In addition, thermal imaging cameras can be used in animal and pest management to spot animals or insects in dark roof areas or in underground piping systems, as well as in transportation navigation to more easily see people or obstructions in low lighting conditions.