Sahara® - Commissioning New Pipelines

The Sahara® leak detection system pinpoints the location of very small leaks in pipelines of all materials. The leaks that cause pre-commissioned water mains to fail a hydrostatic pressure test are typically very small and therefore challenging to locate using conventional techniques. The Sahara system can find these leaks without having to divide the pipeline into short sections for pressure testing.

Sahara commission leak detection

Leak Detection on a new pipeline

Inspection Benefits

  • High sensitivity will pinpoint very small leaks
  • Live inspection provides instant results allowing for immediate excavation and repair
  • Sub-meter accuracy for leak locations above ground
  • Suitable for all pipe materials
  • Survey at the pipeline test pressure to capture high pressure leaks
  • Sections up to 1.8km long can be inspected from a single insertion point

In live water mains the tethered sensor is gently pulled by the flow of water in the pipeline. In new mains where there is limited or no flow, several techniques can be used to transport the sensor.

The easiest method is to pull the system through using a draw line installed during construction of the pipeline. Alternatively a line can be pulled through after construction by attaching it to a swab and flushing it through when filling the line for test. A third option is to use a swab or over-sized parachute (drogue) to pull the sensor though while filling the line. Once the tethered sensor is pulled to the l proposed endpoint, the pressure can be raised and the inspection carried out as the sensor is drawn back with frequent and regular stops along the pipeline.


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Sahara Leak Detection and Video

The Sahara® platform is a tethered tool that can accurately identify leaks and air pockets in water and wastewater pipelines. It is capable of locating very small leaks typically within 1.5 feet (0.5 meters) of their actual location. The tool also features inline video that allows operators to observe internal pipe conditions.


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Sahara GIS and Mapping Services

The Sahara® system, when coupled with a high-accuracy Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), can be utilized to gather GPS data points with sub meter accuracy to identify the location of the water main from ground level.


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Dallas Water Utilities Sahara Program