Detection of Exfiltration in Sewer Systems with Tracers

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Due to the ageing of our underground wastewater infrastructure, leakage of sewers and pressure mains and subsequent infiltration or exfiltration are becoming an increasingly important issue. Herein, we present a novel method to detect and potentially quantify exfiltration from sewer systems under variable flow conditions; the DEST method. The DEST method is based on the principle of setting up a mass balance of a tracer substance. At an upstream point a tracer is injected in a sewer with a constant rate for a certain period, subsequently downstream high frequent time discrete grab samples are combined with discharge measurements to complete the mass balance. The method is applied on a sewer section in Loenen (NL) to investigate its feasibility. Two different tracers are used; Lithium chloride and Deuterium. Preliminary results indicate that both tracers show similar behaviour at the downstream measurement point. Final lab results are expected at the end of March, allowing in depth analysis of the experimental results with a focus on the measurement uncertainty.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNew Trends in Urban Drainage Modelling - UDM 2018
EditorsGiorgio Mannina
Place of PublicationCham
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-99867-1
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-99866-4
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event11th International Conference on Urban Drainage Modelling, UDM 2018 - Palermo, Italy
Duration: 23 Sep 201826 Sep 2018

Publication series

NameGreen Energy and Technology
ISSN (Print)1865-3529
ISSN (Electronic)1865-3537


Conference11th International Conference on Urban Drainage Modelling, UDM 2018


  • DEST
  • Exfiltration
  • Field experiments
  • Leakage
  • Sewer
  • Tracer

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