Feasibility of Novel Leak Detection Technology in the Water Industry

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Howard, Drew
Sharma, Sidharth


Von Windheim, Jesko

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Demand for water is expected to increase along with global population, putting pressure on industries that provide and consume the resource to do so more efficiently. One solution is to limit the water loss from leaking infrastructure. Water loss due to leaks exceeds 50 percent worldwide, and 15 percent in the U.S. As the price of water increases, the value of this leaking water will as well, financially incentivizing the employment of water loss solutions. This analysis explores the leak detection market opportunities for PFT Technology LLC and BaseTrace within the water industry.

PFT Technology LLC and BaseTrace currently produce leak detection technology targeting the electric utility and hydro- fracturing industries respectively. The primary goal of this project was to identify water-related markets for these two companies to enter. This feasibility analysis is broken down into four sections: 1) Industry Evaluation 2) Expert Interviews 3) Regulatory Analysis and 4) Financial Modeling.

After review of a number of markets within the water industry, the Water Supply and Distribution market proved to be an economically viable market for PFT to enter, while BaseTrace’s technology would be more competitive in the Petroleum Brownfield Market. We projected future water prices and geographic variations in US markets. PFT’s ability to trace leaks underground could generate large value in the Northeast, where leaked water currently incurs the highest costs. However, we believe their technology could potentially spread throughout the U.S as the value of water increases in different geographic regions according to our price projection data.





Howard, Drew, and Sidharth Sharma (2014). Feasibility of Novel Leak Detection Technology in the Water Industry. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/8531.

Dukes student scholarship is made available to the public using a Creative Commons Attribution / Non-commercial / No derivative (CC-BY-NC-ND) license.