Efficient Pipe Burst Detection in Tree-Shape Water Distribution Networks Using Forward-Backward Transient Analysis

Bin Pan, Huan Feng Duan, Alireza Keramat, Silvia Meniconi, Bruno Brunone

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Transient-based leak/burst detection has received more and more attentions in the operation and management of water distribution networks. However, with the increase in pipe network complexity, it is hard to detect and locate the potential pipe defects and water losses efficiently. Recently, we proposed an efficient leak/burst localization strategy in single pipelines based on the forward and backward transient analysis, and in this work, this effective approach is customized for the more realistic branched (tree-shaped) pipe networks. Unlike traditional transient-based methods which rely on tedious optimization procedures, the proposed method uses a mismatch property between forward and backward analyses of transient signals for the pipe burst detection during the water supply process. Compared with other developed methods, this method can directly calculate the defect location, so it is expected to have high efficiency and wide applicability. To fulfill this goal, a framework for burst detection in a tree-shaped pipe network is developed in this paper. Using the mass conservation and energy relations at the branched junctions, the forward and backward transient analysis is extended from one pipe to another until the burst is found and then located in the network. Both experimental and numerical tests show the effectiveness of the proposed method, and further analysis has shown that the method is also valid for leak detection in both transient and steady conditions, confirming the robustness and practicality of this proposed method. At last, this paper discusses the influence of transient sources and the potential combination of the method with other methods.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2022WR033465
JournalWater Resources Research
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022


  • pipe burst detection
  • transient analysis
  • tree-shape network
  • water leakage
  • water supply pipe

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology


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