Step testing is an effective, flow-based method of localizing water loss within a zoned distribution system. It works by continually measuring the flow of water into a zone as valves are shut off in sequence.
Testing usually takes place during the night when water consumption is at its lowest so that shutting off the supply causes minimum disruption. The areas of the pipeline showing unexpected water losses can then be identified and investigated.
Step Testing can be used in all networks, but is particularly suited to identifying areas of leakage on plastic pipe materials, where leak noise is absorbed and conventional acoustic methods are less effective.
MAST (Mobile Advanced Step Tester) is a radio based system which gives the operator immediate notification of flow change at the receiver as a valve is operated. This allows potential leak areas to be quickly identified and quantified, avoiding the need to complete a full step test for later comparison with logged data.
The MAST system comprises two instruments: