Every drop counts: Why leak detection is essential __

Every drop counts: Why leak detection is essential
21. March 2024 5 min.

Global water scarcity, climate change and energy efficiency are the defining issues for the future worldwide. Conserving natural resources has long been a general consensus. However, this applies not only to fossil fuels and forests, but also to water. Nothing should be lost. That is why modern leak detection systems are indispensable in district and local heating networks as well as in cooling networks today and are mandatory for operating licenses in countries such as Germany.

Today, state-of-the-art leak detection systems enable significant water, energy and cost savings. These systems are making a crucial contribution to tackling the water crisis, which affects both developed and developing countries. The World Health Organisation predicts that by 2025, eight billion people could live in regions with absolute water shortages, while two-thirds of the world's population could be under stress conditions in terms of water resources.

Leak detection systems as a solution

Modern leak detection systems use advanced technologies to identify leaks in water distribution networks. These systems offer a proactive approach to detect leaks early and therefore prevent significant water loss. These technologies play a crucial role in reducing water consumption and promoting energy efficiency. They make a significant contribution to optimising consumption and avoiding waste. The implementation of such systems is not only a step towards greater sustainability, but also offers economic benefits, as operating and maintenance costs in district heating, local heating and cooling networks are significantly reduced. Leak detection is therefore a fundamental economic factor and at the same time a technology for securing our natural resources for future generations.


By detecting and repairing leaks in a timely manner, businesses and households can significantly save on operating costs. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that leaks in the U.S. waste nearly 1 trillion gallons of water annually. Eliminating these leaks can result in savings of up to 10% on the water bill.


Leak detection systems increase the efficiency of water distribution and energy transmission systems. By detecting leaks early, they enable timely remediation, reducing wasted resources and improving the overall efficiency of systems.


By detecting potential leaks at an early stage, these systems make a significant contribution to the prevention of water damage and the resulting dangers for the building fabric and residents. This significantly increases the safety of people, buildings and facilities.


Leak detection systems support sustainable water management and energy consumption. By significantly minimising leaks, they contribute to the conservation of natural resources and support environmental goals such as the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Water Conservation

Leak detection systems protect water resources by eliminating waste. They help protect the environment by preventing water leaks from leading to soil and water pollution.

Infrastructure protection

Undetected leaks can cause significant damage, leading to rising repair costs and business interruptions. Leak detection systems prevent such scenarios.


Detect leaks immediately and react immediately!

The question of the "why" of leak detection can therefore be summed up in several key aspects: safety, cost-efficiency and environmental protection.

Modern leak detection systems, especially with sensor technology, play a decisive role in this. Continuous monitoring and real-time alerting enable immediate response to potential problems. By detecting leaks at an early stage, operators of piping systems can minimise damage and increase safety. The risk of water loss and associated costs as well as environmental impacts are reduced. Rapid leak repair is not only fundamental to maintaining operations, but also prevents long-term damage to infrastructure and the surrounding area.

Remote monitoring and alarms

Modern leak detection systems provide remote monitoring. This makes it possible to monitor water or energy systems anytime and anywhere. Real-time alerts are sent via mobile applications or email notifications when a leak is detected. This proactive approach makes it possible to act immediately and prevent further water or energy loss.


Types of Leak Detection Systems

Traditionally, visual inspections, acoustic detections, and dye testing methods have been used to locate leaks. However, these methods have their limitations in terms of efficiency, accuracy, and the ability to identify leaks in large or complex networks. Today, sensor technologies based on various principles are gaining ground.

  • Acoustic sensors that detect the sound of leaks.
  • Pressure sensors that detect changes in system pressure.
  • Humidity sensors that identify unexpected humidity levels.

Each of these technologies has its advantages depending on the use case and network. There is also the possibility of combining sensor data and intelligent analysis methods. This makes modern leak detection systems particularly effective.


Why Sensors Are the Preferred Choice



Sensors can locate leaks with high accuracy. They minimise extensive and expensive excavations to identify the leakage site.

Real-time monitoring

Modern sensor technologies provide real-time data on the condition of the piping system. This allows operators to respond promptly to fix leaks before they cause major problems.

Preventive analyses

The data collected via sensors can be analysed to identify patterns that indicate potential vulnerabilities in the system. This allows for proactive maintenance and prevents future leaks.

Cost reduction

Early detection and repair of leaks can save significant costs associated with water loss, wasted energy, and infrastructure damage.

Environmental protection

Sensor-based systems help to optimise water consumption and minimise water losses, which directly contributes to the protection of water resources.


Leak detection with aquatherm

Together with the innovative plastic piping system aquatherm energy, offers two future-proof solutions for leak detection. The holistically designed systems are specially designed to meet the requirements of district and local heating as well as cooling networks. They enable continuous, economical monitoring and immediate alerting in the event of a leak.

The BRANDES system for aquatherm energy

The BRANDES system is integrated into the insulation of the piping system. This resistance detection method with NiCr system technology, which has been specially developed for plastic casing pipes, serves to prevent damage. It detects moisture in pipe insulation at an incomparably early stage, locates it with pinpoint accuracy and automatically reports it to the central monitoring unit. BRANDES has been supplying reliable components for more than 55 years and holds numerous patents in the field.


Wideco's system for aquatherm energy

Wideco places its sensors directly on the pipe, which enables immediate detection of leaks. This system has proven its effectiveness in securing over 40,000 km of transmission and distribution networks worldwide. By positioning directly on the pipe, leaks can be quickly identified and reported, significantly reducing the time it takes to remediate.


Why aquatherm energy and aquatherm blue for heating and cooling networks?


aquatherm energy

The aquatherm energy system consists of pre-insulated polypropylene pipes as well as matching fittings, which are made of the high-quality material fusiolen PP-R/PP RCT. These components are insulated with PUR foam and protected by an HDPE casing pipe to ensure optimal performance and durability.


aquatherm blue

The aquatherm blue system is also made of corrosion-resistant polypropylene (PP) and is the specialist for the transport of cooling and heating media in closed systems, but without sheathing. It is therefore particularly suitable for a wide variety of applications. The physical properties of the plastic are tailored to the special needs of the heating and cooling sector as well as geothermal energy.


Advantages over metallic systems

aquatherm energy and aquatherm blue are characterised by numerous advantages over conventional metallic systems.

Long-term safety against corrosion

By using polypropylene as the material for the pipes and fittings, aquatherm eliminates the risks that can arise from corrosion, both from the inside and from the outside. This provides a reliable, durable and efficient solution for modern infrastructure.

Wide range of applications

The system is versatile and suitable for applications in heating and cooling networks, water distribution, geothermal energy, swimming pool technology, open-space cooling, as well as in refrigeration systems, open-space heating and air conditioning systems.

Leak detection

aquatherm energy enables precise and early detection of leaks, which improves the safety and reliability of the overall system.

Diffusion-tight system

aquatherm blue OT offers a diffusion-tight system that prevents oxygen from entering the water and therefore excludes corrosion on pumps and valves.

Lower pump currents required

Due to the corrosion resistance of the polypropylene material, lower pump currents are required, resulting in a reduction in operating costs.

Consistent pump size

The system allows the use of consistent pump sizes over the entire service life, resulting in lower energy costs during operation.




The global awareness of the need to protect natural resources, especially water, presents us with the challenge of minimising water losses due to leaks in all supply systems. The use of state-of-the-art leak detection systems in district heating, local heating and cooling networks is not only a question of increasing efficiency and reducing costs, but also makes a decisive contribution to environmental protection and sustainability. These systems make it possible to detect leaks early and fix them quickly, reducing water losses and maintaining the integrity of the infrastructure.

In particular, aquatherm's piping systems – such as aquatherm energy and aquatherm blue – show how modern plastic piping systems contribute to sustainability and at the same time offer outstanding economic advantages. This combination of ecological and economic benefits creates an excellent basis for advancing the change process in society, business and politics with a broad consensus.

Leak detection is an important building block towards a more sustainable future in which every resource is valued and protected. The continuous development and adaptation of these technologies to the specific requirements of different application areas will continue to play an important role in the future in order to optimise water consumption, increase the efficiency of energy transmission systems and ultimately promote responsible use of our natural resources.

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