University of Johannesburg Process, Energy & Environment Technology Station (PEETS) engaged Boffin & Fundi to conduct a leak detection pilot for Johannesburg Water (JW) in late 2018. The sole purpose of the pilot was to provide proof of concept for the technology available in South Africa and to aid in the effective detection of water leaks both proactively and reactively.
The process included the identifying of 2 ideal pilot areas within Gauteng. Boffin & Fundi (B&F) received GIS shape files for the two areas. These files were uploaded on the Aquaduct system. A site visit to Kyalami was followed by a visit to Country culminating with system installations at both Kyalami and Country view.
The duration of the pilot was initially to span over 3 months (Oct 2018- Dec 2018), however the project eventually spanned over 5 months (Nov 2018 – March 2019) due to unforeseen delays such as late receipt of shape files, change of pilot area, pilot area not having adequate installation points, delayed site approval and absence of Joburg Water onsite technical assistance.
The Kyalami pilot was deemed successful, with 6 sensors installed, however no water leaks were detected in that particular area.
The pilot at Country View was also a success, with 8 sensors installed and more than 3 leaks detected. The GIS coordinates were passed on to JW, however only 1 water leak was repaired. After the success of the results in Country View, B&F requested a meeting with the stakeholders to propose changing the pilot site to an area that is metered so as to quantify the impact before and after the water leaks are detected and repaired, however this was not the main purpose of the pilot so a deviation was requested and approved.
JW identified an area that was metered in Midrand and upon installation we immediately detected a water leak, but unfortunately some of our sensors were stolen which caused us to shut down the pilot project.
Given that the technology does work, water leaks were detected and repaired, the University of Johannesburg (PEETS) was assured in concluding the project as successful and thus issued Boffin & Fundi with the necessary documentation to indicate and confirm their positive findings.