The wireless, solar-powered electronic leak detection system features electrodes that sit on or below pond liners. An electrical current runs through the electrodes once a day to detect leaks.
Changes in the current are mapped to pinpoint leaks, which can be detected down to breaches as small as one millimetre.
The stand alone cyclone-proof control box on the side of the pond sends the daily results remotely to a smart phone, tablet or a computer.
The device also measures pond telemetry including temperature, depth and salinity. Systems can be installed at the time of pond construction or retrofitted to an existing pond.
“Most current systems don’t have anything like that, they have bores around the edges that might be checked every so often,” Zonge Engineering’s managing director, Kelly Keates, said.
“But the issue with that is it’s not giving immediate results and also not finding out what potentially is leaking straight down.
“Our system will reduce potential pollution to the surrounding environment with instant detection so pond owners can act immediately.”
Preventing liquid wastes contaminated during the mining process from polluting the surrounding area are among the greatest environmental concerns facing the mining industry, and the technology could have significant applications at tailings storage facilities.The technology is applicable to any new or existing lined liquid or solid waste facility.
Adelaide-based Liquid Integrity Systems has so far installed four systems in coal seam gas ponds in Queensland, but is also building demonstration models for use in gold and copper mines in Western Australia.