SmartBall is a leak detection technology developed by Pure Technologies. This technology was first developed in 2005 and was used to identify problems in large pipes. Since then, it has been widely used around the world to detect water leaks in underground transport pipes.

SmartBall is an innovative technology for detecting water losses that uses a special sensor ball. This technology is mainly used by water network operators and engineers who manage these networks to detect water leaks that can lead to significant water losses and potential property damage. SmartBall has already been successfully used in many countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, and the United Arab Emirates.

SmartBall is composed of a small diameter sphere, which is equipped with an extremely sensitive acoustic sensor. This sensor ball is introduced into the water pipe and then launched into the water flow, where it moves freely, driven by the water flow. It detects the sounds generated by water losses and identifies gas pockets or anomalies that have unique characteristics. After the SmartBall is extracted, the collected data is analyzed using mathematical algorithms, which accurately indicate the location of water losses, gas pockets, or anomalies. SmartBall moves freely inside transmission pipes at a speed of approximately 3 kilometers per hour and can inspect over 35 kilometers in a single day without affecting the water flow.

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An example of the use of SmartBall technology was in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, where the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) successfully used this technology to detect water losses in the underground water transmission network. These water losses are usually difficult to detect using traditional sound detection techniques due to their depth. From April 2021 to the end of 2022, SmartBall technology detected 43 water losses in Dubai’s water transmission network, saving 130 million imperial gallons of water. This method has been used in various locations, including Targu Mures, Romania, where it was successfully used to identify faults on a 6-kilometer-long DN 400 steel pipeline.


Another major advantage of SmartBall is that it reduces operational costs by quickly detecting small cracks in pipes, thereby avoiding their enlargement and subsequent water losses. This can help save water and money, and by reducing water losses, it can lead to increased efficiency in the water industry. In addition, SmartBall can identify the location of underground pipes and other critical assets, making it useful in a proactive pipe management program. Since its launch in 2005, the SmartBall platform has been successfully used to inspect over 11,500 kilometers of pipes worldwide and has detected over 3,000 leaks, saving millions of gallons of water and significant amounts of money.

Pure Technologies | Xylem US