Acoustic Sensing Technology’s (AST) first developed product is the ‘SewerBatt’, a lightweight yet robust device that consists of a small speaker, a microphone, and software that can provide accurate reports.

The SewerBatt speaker is lowered into a manhole and a quiet tone plays for ten seconds, which echoes along the sewer. A microphone then records the reverberation that has been produced. This is then analysed by the SewerBatt’s software to locate cracks, blockages or other structural defects in the pipe.

AST (UK) Director of Technology and the inventor of the SewerBatt Richard Long says “The SewerBatt is an inexpensive, lightweight and easy-to-use piece of kit that enables companies to target and use the slower CCTV systems, usually used by engineers to check drains and sewers, more efficiently.

“A number of water companies have trialled the technology in the UK, Australia and Europe. In April 2013 the team travelled to Cincinnati, US, for more trials sponsored by the US government. We have been offered opportunities for trials or contracts also in California, Nevada, NY, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Alabama as well as Austria, Germany and the Netherlands so far.”

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In July 2013 AST delivered its first order to Yorkshire Water, and the company is currently working on draft contracts with two of the most prominent UK transport providers, and with major contracting groups, and overseas companies and public bodies in Europe and the US.

Yorkshire Water Senior Manager Patrick Killgallon says “It is great to see the development of the SewerBatt technology move from a concept into a product that is now commercially available to the market. The potential benefits of SewerBatt for Yorkshire Water are to allow us to build on our existing surveying of the sewer network to help productively reduce the number of escapes from the sewer network which either affect our customers or the environment.”