Good Practices on Leakage Management - French Case Study: Beaune

Good Practices on Leakage Management - French Case Study: Beaune

1. Overview leakage reduction measures implemented at Beaune 

Beaune is a small town in central eastern France of 22.500 inhabitants and of an area of 31 km2. The drinking water supply network of Beaune supplies 6.350 customers via 150 km of pipes. Beaune has the particularity to be located between the hills and the plain of the Saône so that its unique resource is the resurgence of a small stream. In addition to being restricted, this resource requires a complete water treatment (removal of pesticides and limestone, disinfection), hence leakage reduction is a strong issue to Beaune. 

This issue led Veolia Water, through the renewal of the public service contract with the Conurbation authority of Beaune Côte et Sud in 2009, to commit to progressively and significantly improve the efficiency of the network up to reach a target of 80% in 2016 (network efficiency was equal to 70% in 2009).

To do this, Veolia Water implemented in 2009-2010 an action plan comprising:

  • Deployment of an Advanced Metering Infrastructure.
  • Establishment of permanent DMAs and supervision.
  • Installation of permanent acoustic noise loggers.

2. Details proven leakage reduction measures Beaune

Deployment of an Advanced Metering Infrastructure

The radio communication network has been deployed with Homerider Systems technology (868 MHz band) to collect daily data from 6,350 customer meters equipped with radio module. Data are relayed by repeaters to 3 concentrators and then send via GSM/GPRS to Homerider servers for processing and presentment.

This Automatic Meter Reading system has many advantages for customers such as alarms for potential leakage, back flow incidents and abnormal consumption, and the possibility to monitor their consumption on the Internet.

Establishment of permanent DMAs and supervision

After outline planning of the DMAs, DMA design has been validated using a hydraulic model of the network. This model enabled to analyse boundary valves closure effects on flow distribution through this highly meshed network and so to adjust DMA boundaries while preserving supply security, water quality and fire-fighting, and finally to size flow meters.

The network has been divided into 8 zones of homogeneous distribution, with an average linear of 20 km each. 15 electromagnetic flow meters with remote reading were installed to measure the supplied volumes on each of these zones.

DMA management ensures a daily monitoring of the network efficiency of each zone. The joint analysis of night flows, supplied volumes and consumptions allows the operator to guide quickly leak detection operations.

Installation of permanent acoustic noise loggers

In addition to DMAs establishment, 80 acoustic noise loggers were installed on the city centre old network in order to rapidly and accurately locate leaks in this area. These devices, placed in key holes, listen during the night the noise of the pipes, noise intensity information and confidence factor are daily transmitted through the remote management system. Results are then analysed by means of synoptic maps, dashboards and noise histograms in order to confirm the identification of leaks by noise loggers and/or to identify new ones.


Thanks to these actions, Beaune network efficiency increased by 11 points between 2010 and 2011. In 2012, despite a period of strong frost at the beginning of the year (the number of leaks repaired on pipes doubled between 2012 and the average of the previous years), network efficiency slightly increased compared to 2011. Implementation of DMAs and acoustic noise loggers coupled to AMI has made it possible to react quickly in a targeted way to the emergence of new leaks.

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