An innovative leak repair device called Aquapea has been named the winner of Future Water Associations 2020 Water Dragons Competition.

The pitch from Qinov8 was for a small pea-like ball, which is actively drawn towards leaks, being placed into polythlene, copper, lead and steel pipes.

The non dig, trenchless approach was designed to reduce time on excavations as well as cutting the water loss and carbon footprint of finding leaks.

The Aquapea is capable of repairing leaks from inside the pipe. It is added to a water supply at an external water metre chamber and then moves through the pipe and is drawn to the location of a leak by the flow of the escaping water.

Qinov8 explained the Aquapea’s advanced polymer then forms a seal around the damaged area to stop the leak.

“Innovation is the key to success in all industries and judging by all of the entries this year the water industry is in good hands,” Michael Quinn, co-founder of Qinov8 said. “Winning the Water Dragons Award and now working alongside Future Water, will hopefully help us showcase the importance of including Aquapea in every water engineer’s toolbox, as a first response solution to leakage.”

The judges recognised the scalability of the system and its effectiveness at reducing leakage.

Following heats, the five finalists of the Water Dragon competition presented their ideas to the judging panel of innovation and development professionals from across the water sector.

The final pitches were Radio Data Networks, with a sewer flow regulator; Rescaype UK, with a micronized, biodegradable, water-soluble, polymer for soil amelioration / conditioning; Electro Scan with a Machine-intelligent Multi-sensor DELA pressurised leak detection solution; and Aqualogic with a Virtual domestic water audit project.

Paul Horton, chief executive of Future Water added: “Water Dragons is an opportunity to bring the creativity of the supply chain to the fore and this final was a fantastic example of companies rising to the challenge.”

The competition has been running since 2008 as a platform to launch new products to tackle challenges faced by water companies, retailers, supply chain and regulators.

Entrants must demonstrate how their products, services or processes have clear and distinct benefits as well as how their innovation can make or save money.

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