Experimental Evidence of Leaks in Elastic Pipes

Valeria Puleo, Chiara Maria Fontanazza, Vincenza Notaro, Gabriele Freni, Chiara M. Fontanazza, Mauro De Marchis, Gabriele Freni, Mauro De Marchis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Several studies have been carried out in recent decades to establish a relationship between total head and leaks. In literature, the leakage governing equations have been analysed in light of pipe materials, water head, leak dimension or shape. Most of these contributions questioned the classical Torricelli equation, demonstrating through experimental evidence that the classical orifice law can give unsatisfactory results. Nevertheless, starting from the Torricelli equation, other exponential or linear governing equations have been proposed as mathematical models able to reproduce the leakages in water distribution systems (WDSs). To investigate the validity of the proposed governing equations, an experimental campaign was carried out by means of a water distribution network composed of approximately 500 m of polyethylene pipes. The experiments were designed to investigate the effects of leak area and pipe rigidity on discharge. Furthermore, the effect of leak size enlargement with water head was analysed. Finally, the proposed research contributes to the population of a database for estimating the coefficients of head-discharge relationships.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2005-2019
Number of pages15
JournalWater Resources Management
Publication statusPublished - 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology


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