An estimated 2.1 trillion gallons of water is lost annually to leakage, according to a report from NPR. Even higher leakage rates have been reported in other parts of the world. With Cape Town, South Africa coming dangerously close to running completely out of water, these statistics are a stark reminder that we need to be more diligent about fixing and preventing leaks.
Three Israeli startups are aiming to tackle this very issue by offering solutions for repairing or preventing leaks.
1. Aquarius Spectrum
Based in Tel Aviv, Aquarius Spectrum was founded in 2009 and develops a system of software and sensors that work harmoniously to monitor utilities’ water pipe systems.
The sensors communicate with the software to alert water utility companies the moment a leak is detected.
Real-time leak detection is still a new technology. Previously, leak detection was an inexact science. Repairs were costly, too, mainly because it was difficult to pinpoint the exact location of the leak. Entire swatches of land would have to be dug up to find the leak, which would cost, on average, USD$1 million per mile.
The sensors created by Aquarius Spectrum take the guesswork out of leak detection. Monitoring systems can be installed on hydrants, pipes and even valve pits. Each night, the sensors take acoustic measurements, and send the data to a cloud server. The software uses correlation to determine how far the leak is from the sensor.
Once the location has been found, a plumber could use video inspection equipment to determine the cause and exact location of the issue.
The company’s monitoring system can not only help detect and fix leaks before they become a serious issue, but also pinpoint the location without having to dig up an entire road.
Israeli startup LeaksStop is aiming to stop pinhole leaks that can cause costly damage in the long-run.
The company’s box solution is fitted onto the main water line, and modulates the water pressure in your home when your tap isn’t in use.
LeaksStop can prevent flooding when homeowners are away on holiday and even serve as an early warning that something is wrong with the plumbing.
The system uses algorithms to modulate pressure and detect potential leaks. When something is amiss, the system will send you an SMS alert.
LeaksStop can also help prevent the formation of new leaks. Less pressure on your pipes means less wear and tear on your plumbing.
And if something catastrophic happens, like your pipe bursts, LeaksStop will shut down the system and potentially save you from expensive repair and clean-up.
Based out of Ashkelon, Curapipe is hoping to help fix a problem that plagues many plumbing systems across the country: pinhole leaks. These pinholes can emit water, natural gas and even oil. They cost taxpayers money and cause unnecessary greenhouse gas emissions to enter the atmosphere.
The World Bank estimates that about 88 billion liters of water is lost through urban plumbing systems every day.
Curapipe’s solution is to send small spongy objects, known as “pigs” into the pipes to clean the water mains. The water supply is suspended for a few hours while water pressure pushes the “pig” through the system.
While moving through the system, the pigs remove scale and other types of build-up. These little sponges can do their work on cast iron, lead and even concrete pipes.