Aug 2013
Gas Distribution
Combined Accurate Detection with Minimal Excavation
Aug 2013
Dec 2013
Northern Gas Networks
Ian Whithead, Greame Cleeton and Alec Breen
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Network Innovation Allowance
Gas Distribution Networks

Detecting leakage where no immediate obvious solution is available, typically city centre locations, congested highways or locations with particular specific engineering difficulty, repairs can be expensive to undertake requiring significant resources, disruption to customers and can take a long time to resolve. Currently repair team spend significant excavation leakage detection holes provided by normal detection methods. NGN wish to test and develop a new approach to leakage detection by combining new leakage detection technologies with road coring and vacuum excavation techniques.

Vacuum Excavation and road coring have not gained GB wide HAUC approval and therefore NGN have no current remit to use this technology within its region footprint.

To confirm the combined approach is achievable in reducing the time spent on pinpointing leakage then exposing points of interest immediately to deal with the network failure.

To establish a full cost benefit analysis of the combined techniques of Acoustic Measurement and Coring Repairs. To establish the safety procedures required for deploying these technique and what controls are required to ensure increased safety is maintained

To assess the processes, people skills and training required to deploy this equipment, with recommendations for full deployment:

  • Measure - Reduction in reinstatement requirement
  • Measure the impact on NRSWA
  • Measure the impact on Customer – especially around traffic disruption.

Produce a detailed summary report for each job detailing findings, results and outcomes.

The project is expected to develop new learning in the area of:

  • Specialist leakage location, developing a different ethos around location of difficult to detect escapes by combining techniques, technologies and tooling to reducing location time and pinpointing failures 
  • Advancing the networks knowledge on dealing with difficult to locate escapes exposing failures quickly allowing new planning approaches to be developed that avoids a fire fighting approach low level leakage
  • Identify key opportunities for deploying coring and repair techniques to first time failure resolution following acoustic pinpointing. How combining technologies under a single trial can increase benefits over and above single trial approaches
  • How learning from one network can speed up the initial kick off project within another network to reduce costs to customer.