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Water Leak Detection System, iDROLOCWater Leak Detection System, iDROLOC

iDROLOC is a leak detection system which injects a tracer gas (Helium) into the water main to detect leaks without interruption to the service. It can be applied to large diameter mains, smaller distribution pipes, or house hold connections within an urban area.

iDROLOC can detect very small leaks, even in large diameter pipes and offers an accurate and efficient alternative to conventional acoustic methods.

As a pipe condition assessment tool iDroloc can be used to detect minor leaks in joints to prevent future leakage.

iDroloc can also be used to commission newly constructed pipework. Helium gas and compressed air can be used to pressure test the pipework and then identify any leaks if detected. 

The principle of the system is that Helium is introduced into the water flow. Any leaks in the pipework are identified when the gas/water escapes through and leaks in the pipework. The water carries the Helium out of the pipe and as a gas lighter than air, it rises to the surface. The concentration of Helium in the atmosphere is very small, allowing detection at ground level.

Advantages include:

  • No disruption to customers, as the work is carried out on the live network
  • Leaks can be located on areas that have a high percentage of plastic or non-metallic pipework - not affected by sounds or vibrations
  • Fast and accurate in large pipes, where standard methods may not be reliable
  • Most effective method for non-metallic pipes and/or low network pressures

Frequently asked questions 

Will any customers be affected?

Some customers near the helium insertion point may experience 'air in supply', we recommend warning customers to avoid any unwanted calls.

Is this technique DWI approved?

Yes, this technique can be used on a live portable water network.

Do the holes get filled following the survey work?

Yes, all the holes are filled using a highway approved material.

What is the accuracy of the technique?

Our trained operators will expect to locate the leak within 2m, and on most occasions within that distance.


Nick Haskins Contact


  • Enables approximate size of leak to be determined, allowing prioritisation of repairs
  • Water tightness tests can be performed on sectored zones
  • Load tests can be carried out on pipes before use
  • Pipe condition assessment: the condition of large-diameter supply connections and seals can be analysed
  • Calibration of mathematical models: real pipeline routes, water flow direction, valve opening and closing verification, etc.


Gas injection system designed to:

  • Spread the gas in the watr
  • Measure the pipe pressure to adjust the in¬jection
  • Control the amount of helium injected through flow measurement

Drilling system:

  • Automatic driller for harder surfaces
  • Control panel for suction and drilling

Tools for detection:

  • Automatic suction pad for detection of gas at surface level.
  • Device for measuring Helium concentration.
  • Real-time display of Helium concentration.


  • Easy to manage – single operator operation
  • Fully portable inspection equipment.
  • Easily exported and/or transported.



In early summer 2013, Aqualogy carried out a leak detection campaign using the iDROLOC system in the Oran drinking water supply network, managed by Sociéte de l'Eau et de l'Assainissement (SEOR).

The work focussed on two very different areas with equally successful results. The first phase covered the network’s largest and least accessible arteries: 300- to 1,000-mm-diameter pipes running alongside some of Oran’s busiest and noisiest streets. The second phase involved leak detection in a low-pressure zone with PVC/PE pipes of 50 mm in diameter.

The tracer gas system detected a total of 56 leaks in the distribution (approximately 12 km) and transport (7 km) networks.


In June 2013, EMATSA planned to locate a leak in a 500-metre-long water pipeline running under the Avenida Roma in Tarragona, one of the city’s busiest roads.

The work, which took three days and found the leak, would have been a much more complicated affair with conventional acoustic leak detection methods, given the noise levels generated by traffic on the avenue. Once the leak was repaired, this section of the city’s network could once again be used after a long period of disuse.


In late November 2013, the American subsidiary of Aqualogy, USG, used the iDROLOC leak detection system in the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department network to find three leaks in a section of cast iron pipe 1,200 mm in diameter. Two helium injections were required, one using a lance and the other using hydrants, as access to the pipe was impossible.

The USG-Aqualogy team inspected the 3-km route of the pipeline, running under both earth and asphalt, for 3 days and found two seals that had worn out and were leaking in addition to a major leak that was running into the sewerage network.

This action highlights the versatility of Aqualogy’s iDROLOC system, which can be used in all types of land and with all types and diameters of pipe.


Here, iDROLOC faced a new challenge: the detection of leaks in hot and cold water networks. The company Climaespaço wanted to locate leaks in its cold water distribution networks that could not be detected with traditional methods. Acoustic leak detection systems are not effective with these pipes as, like hot water pipes, their strong thermal insulation prevents heat dissipation.

The iDROLOC system, which uses helium gas technology, found a leak that was losing 95 m³/day in one of the main pipes used to cool buildings in the urban environment. Following the injection of helium gas into the network, the leak was precisely detected in a pipe 300 mm in diameter and at a depth of 4.5m.

Aqualogy was able to use the iDROLOC robot in this operation despite the difficulty of dissolving gases in such adverse conditions. This action shows the adaptability and efficiency of iDROLOC in meeting the toughest challenges in the industrial sector.


Lydec, a public utility company in Casablanca, required an effective system to locate possible leaks in the drinking water supply network of the city.
Traditional methods were identified as inefficient due to the characteristics of the city’s water network.

iDROLOC was recognised as the ideal solution for the pipeline network and its complexities, due to its simple and effective method of detection, designed specifically for this purpose. The project lasted 10 days, with 4 leaks detected in the 7km section of the network. The repair of the leaks is expected to save 790 million litres of water per year.