Springer Nature is making Coronavirus research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Time-domain Analysis of Laboratory Experiments on the Transient Pressure Damping in a Leaky Polymeric Pipe

  • 35 Accesses


The pressure damping occurring in pressurized pipes with a leak during transients has been examined as a diagnostic tool – the so-called transient damping method (TDM) – mainly from the theoretical and numerical point of view. On the contrary, the experimental data are limited to few cases. As a consequence, there is a need of an extensive experimental analysis of the role played on the pressure damping by leak parameters (size, location and initial pressure). On the basis of the laboratory tests executed on a polymeric pipe, it is shown that, while the magnitude of the injected pressure wave does not affect the damping, the initial pressure, the leak size and location influence it plainly. Moreover, an experimental evidence is provided of the ambiguity in the time-domain of the transient pressure damping pointed out by numerical experiments. Precisely, it is demonstrated that different combinations of the leak parameters can lead to the same pressure damping. The obtained results indicate that the TDM can give a reliable assessment of the pipe status only if it is integrated with other diagnostic tools, such as the interpretation of the pressure signal during the first characteristic time of the pipe.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7


  1. Agarwal A, Lang J (2005) Foundations of analog and digital electronic circuits. Elsevier

  2. Ayati A, Haghighi A, Lee P (2019) Statistical review of major standpoints in hydraulic transient-based leak detection. Journal of Hydraulic Structures 5:1–26

  3. Brunone B (1999) Transient test-based technique for leak detection in outfall pipes. J Water Res Plan Man, ASCE 125:302–306

  4. Brunone B, Meniconi S, Capponi C (2019) Numerical analysis of the transient pressure damping in a single polymeric pipe with a leak. Urban Water J, IAHR 15:760–768

  5. Christodoulou SE, Kourti E, Agathokleous A (2017) Waterloss detection in water distribution networks using wavelet change-point detection. Water Resour Manag, EWRA 31:979–994

  6. Colombo A, Lee P, Karney B (2009) A selective literature review of transient-based leak detection methods. J Hydro Environ Res, Elsevier 2:212–227

  7. Covas D, Ramos H (2010) Case studies of leak detection and location in water pipe systems by inverse transient analysis. J Water Res Plan Man, ASCE 136:248–257

  8. De Marchis M, Milici B (2019) Leakage estimation in water distribution network: effect of the shape and size cracks. Water Resour Manag, EWRA 33:1167–1183

  9. Del Teso R, Gómez E, Estruch-Juan E, Cabrera E (2019) Topographic energy management in water distribution systems. Water Resour Manag, EWRA.

  10. Duan HF (2015) Uncertainty analysis of transient flow modeling and transient-based leak detection in elastic water pipeline systems. Water Resour Manag, EWRA 29:5413–5427

  11. Ferrante M, Brunone B, Meniconi S, Karney B, Massari C (2014a) Leak size, detectability and test conditions in pressurized pipe systems. Water Resour Manag, EWRA 28:4583–4598

  12. Ferrante M, Meniconi S, Brunone B (2014b) Local and global leak laws. The relationship between pressure and leakage for a single leak and for a district with leaks. Water Resour Manag, EWRA 28:3761–3782

  13. Ghazali M, Beck SBMB, Shucksmith J, Boxall J, Staszewski W (2012) Comparative study of instantaneous frequency based methods for leak detection in pipeline networks. Mech Syst Signal Process, Elsevier 29:187–200

  14. Guo Xl, Yang Ll, Li Ft, Wang T, Fu h (2012) Analysis of first transient pressure oscillation for leak detection in a single pipeline. J Hydrodyn, Elsevier 24:363–370

  15. Gupta A, Kulat K (2018) A selective literature review on leak management techniques for water distribution system. Water Resour Manag, EWRA 32:3247–3269

  16. Lee P, Lambert M, Simpson A, Vitkovsky J, Liggett J (2006) Experimental verification of the frequency response method for pipeline leak detection. J Hydraul Res, IAHR 44:693–707

  17. Liggett J, Chen LC (1994) Inverse transient analysis in pipe networks. J Hydraul Eng, ASCE 120:934–955

  18. Lin J, Wang X, Ghidaoui M (2019) Theoretical investigation of leak’s impact on normal modes of a water-filled pipe: small to large leak impedance. J Hydraul Eng, ASCE 145:04019017

  19. Liou C (1998) Pipeline leak detection by impulse response extraction. J Fluids Eng, ASME 120:833–838

  20. Meniconi S, Brunone B, Ferrante M, Capponi C, Carrettini C, Chiesa C, Segalini D, Lanfranchi E (2015) Anomaly pre-localization in distribution-transmission mains. Preliminary field tests in the Milan pipe system. J Hydroinform, IWA 17:377–389

  21. Meniconi S, Brunone B, Ferrante M, Massari C (2011) Transient tests for locating and sizing illegal branches in pipe systems. J Hydroinform, IWA 13:334–345

  22. Meniconi S, Brunone B, Ferrante M, Massari C (2014) Energy dissipation and pressure decay during transients in viscoelastic pipes with an in-line valve. J Fluid Struct, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz 45:235–249

  23. Meniconi S, Brunone B, Frisinghelli M (2018) On the role of minor branches, energy dissipation, and small defects in the transient response of transmission mains. Water, MDPI 10:187

  24. Nafi A, Brans J (2019) Cost–benefit prediction of asset management actions on water distribution networks. Water, MDPI 11:1542

  25. Nixon W, Ghidaoui M (2007) Numerical sensitivity study of unsteady friction in simple systems with external flow. J Hydraul Eng, ASCE 133:736–749

  26. Nixon W, Ghidaoui M, Kolyshkin A (2006) Range of validity of the transient damping leakage detection method. J Hydraul Eng, ASCE 132:944–957

  27. Ramos H, Covas D, Borga A, Loureiro D (2004) Surge damping analysis in pipe systems: modelling and experiments. J Hydraul Res, IAHR 42:413–425

  28. Steffelbauer D, Fuchs-Hanusch D (2016) Efficient sensor placement for leak localization considering uncertainties. Water Resour Manag, EWRA 30:5517–5533

  29. Vítkovský J, Simpson AR, Lambert M (2000) Leak detection and calibration using transients and genetic algorithms. J Water Res Plan Man, ASCE 126:262–265

  30. Wang X, Keramat A, Ghidaoui M, Meniconi S, Brunone B (2019a) Matched-field processing for leak localization in a viscoelastic pipe: an experimental study. Mech Syst Signal Process, Elsevier 124:459–478

  31. Wang X, Palomar D, Zhao L, Ghidaoui M, Murch R (2019b) Spectral-based methods for pipeline leakage localization. J Hydraul Eng, ASCE 145:04018089

  32. Wang XJ, Lambert M, Simpson A, Liggett J, Vitkovsky J (2002) Leak detection in pipelines using the damping of fluid transients. J Hydraul Eng, ASCE 128:697–711

  33. Xu X, Karney B (2017) An overview of transient fault detection techniques. In: Modeling and Monitoring of Pipelines and Networks, pp 13–37. Springer, Cham

Download references


This research has been funded by the Hong Kong (HK) Research Grant Council Theme-Based Research Scheme and the HK University of Science and Technology (HKUST) under the project Smart Urban Water Supply System (Smart UWSS). Support from Italian MIUR and University of Perugia is acknowledged within the program Dipartimenti di Eccellenza 2018-2022. The support of Mr. Claudio Del Principe in setting the experimental setups is highly appreciated.

Author information

Correspondence to Caterina Capponi.

Additional information

Publisher’s Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Capponi, C., Meniconi, S., Lee, P.J. et al. Time-domain Analysis of Laboratory Experiments on the Transient Pressure Damping in a Leaky Polymeric Pipe. Water Resour Manage 34, 501–514 (2020).

Download citation


  • Leak detection
  • Transient
  • Pressure damping
  • Pressurized pipes