Water Resources Management

, Volume 32, Issue 6, pp 2147–2164 | Cite as

Accuracy and Sensitivity Evaluation of TFR Method for Leak Detection in Multiple-Pipeline Water Supply Systems



The transient frequency response (TFR) based pipe leak detection method has been developed and applied to water pipeline systems with different connection complexities such as branched and looped pipe networks. Previous development and preliminary applications have demonstrated the advantages of high efficiency and non-intrusion for this TFR method. Despite of the successful validations through extensive numerical applications in the literature, this type of method has not yet been examined systematically for its inherent characteristics and application accuracy under different system and flow conditions. This paper investigates the influences of the analytical approximations and assumptions originated from the method development process and the impacts of different uncertainty factors in practical application systems on the accuracy and applicability of the TFR method. The influence factors considered for the analysis contain system properties, derivation approximations and data measurement, and the pipeline systems used for the investigation include simple branched and looped multi-pipe networks. The methods of analytical analysis and numerical simulations are adopted for the investigation. The accuracy and sensitivity of the TFR method is evaluated for different factors and system conditions in this study. The results and findings are useful to understand the validity range and sensitivity of the TFR-based method, so as to better apply this efficient and non-intrusive method in practical pipeline systems.


Leak detection Water pipeline system Transient frequency response (TFR) Sensitivity analysis 



This paper was supported by the research grants from: (1) the Hong Kong Research Grant Council under the projects no. T21-602/15-R, no. 25200616 and no. 15201017; and (2) the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (HKPU) under projects no. 1-ZVCD and no. 3-RBAB.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

I declare herein that the submitted paper (WARM-D-17-00283) is original and unpublished elsewhere, and that this manuscript complies with the Ethical Rules applicable for this journal.

Conflict of Interest

No conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringThe Hong Kong Polytechnic UniversityKowloonChina

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