Nowadays leak detection industry forms an integral part of any technological operation that requires storage of liquids. Be it mining, water management or waste management, operators often rely on so called reservoirs or lagoons in which they store toxic and harmful by-products of their operations. To eliminate the risk of leaks, preventative measures in form of leak detection must be deployed on these sites. Traditional methods of leak detection are slow and require significant input of human personnel, thus increasing the costs and liability risk of the whole leak detection operation. The newly developed eLagoon drone is a modern alternative that is faster, more precise and does not require drainage of the reservoir for leak detection survey to be performed. This article discusses some of the key advantages of the eLagoon leak detection system and its potential impact on the ESG score of industry operators.
Safe storage of liquids
Tailings ponds, liquid landfills, and water reservoirs often share a technical feature that is supposed to make them leakproof. This feature is called geomembrane – a synthetic liner that separates the contents of reservoir from the surrounding ground.
The problem is, that while extremely resistant to chemical agents, geomembranes are prone to mechanical damage. This means, that even a newly constructed tailings pond can be leaking. After a correct geomembrane installation, new tailings pond is filled with liquid that stretches the installed geomembrane, which can result in geomembrane tears and subsequent leaks. On the other hand, older tailings ponds can develop geomembrane tears from mechanisms that operate in them.
Results of such geomembrane tears can be catastrophic. As seen on the recent case of the Piney Point phosphate plant even a small tear can develop into a gigantic environmental disaster. Such incidents are quite common all over the world. Similar recent cases of industrial reservoir leaks in Brazil and USA demonstrate that leakage of toxins into the environment must not be ignored. These incidents however can be avoided.
To prevent such events, regular checks of integrity of geomembrane must be carried out on liquid storage facilities equipped with a geomembrane liner. In the following sections we argue that the newly developed eLagoon drone is the most suitable technology for this job.
Introducing eLagoon – a revolutionary leak detection system
eLagoon drone offers a comprehensive automated leak detection system that enables effective monitoring of tailings ponds, liquid landfills and water reservoirs.
eLagoon is the only technology on the current market, that can perform leak detection on a submerged geomembrane, eliminating thus the need to drain the reservoir before the leak detection survey. This feature saves the operator significant amount of time and resources.
Using the eLagoon drone vastly reduces the potential liability risk due to elimination of human personnel. On top of that, high speed and precision of eLagoon leak detection diminishes the environmental risk exposure of the reservoir operator. eLagoon is made of durable materials, which enables leak detection even in the most dangerous reservoirs filled with radioactive materials, acids and other toxic substances, where human personnel would not be allowed. eLagoon features 3D GPS e-Mapping technology, that enables it to produce easy-to-understand reports with GPS coordinates of the discovered leaks. The hash of the final report is also recorded onto Ethereum blockchain, which allows reservoir operator to produce a proof of good practices to any authorities that may require it.
Main benefits of the eLagoon leak detection system:
1. No need to drain the reservoir
Unlike traditional leak detection systems, eLagoon can perform leak detection survey on a fully submerged geomembrane. This makes it possible to survey a fully operational tailings pond.
Operating at speeds of up to 1 square meter per second, enables the eLagoon to perform a leak detection survey extremely quickly. 30,000 m2 (322,917 ft2) reservoir therefore takes only 8 hours to finish.
3. Cost effective
Thanks to the speed and technology, eLagoon enables the reservoir operator to continue operations without any significant disruptions, making it the most cost-effective solution on the current market.
eLagoon’s sensors are up to 100 times more precise than any previously available technology, which enables the discovery of tears that had been previously undetectable. This eliminates the risk of future leak incidents.
5. Built for the toughest environments
eLagoon can be deployed in any liquid environment including acids, irradiated water and other hazardous liquids. This eliminates the risk to human personnel and allows leak detection survey of the most toxic sites.
ESG and mining industry
Environmental, societal, and governance (ESG) criteria are coming to the forefront of the mining industry challenges of the 21st century. Mining operations have a significant impact on the environment, but they also produce fuels and materials we need. Miners however, must find ways to better protect the environment they operate in.
Careful implementation of ESG criteria isn’t just about doing the right thing, it is also becoming an essential part of companies communication strategies when approaching investors and shareholders.
At ELIS we always advise our clients and partners to perform regular leak detection surveys on their facilities. This demonstrates implementation of good practices that have positive impact on their ESG evaluation, making their companies more appealing to investors, people and the planet.
This article discussed the leak detection industry, which forms and integral part of any technological operation that requires storage of liquids. We argued that toxic leak incidents are quite common all over the world and that to prevent such events, regular checks of integrity of geomembrane must be carried out in liquid storage facilities. We established, that eLagoon drone currently offers the most comprehensive automated leak detection system, that enables effective monitoring of tailings ponds, liquid landfills and water reservoirs. We concluded, that use of the eLagoon technology demonstrates implementation of good practices on the part of the operator, which can have positive impact on their ESG evaluation.
About ELIS Technologies Ltd:
ELIS is a hi-tech company based in Ireland (Dublin) providing solutions in the field of intelligent leak detection systems. Established in 2018 by a team of leak detection professionals, ELIS offers more than 25 years of experience and elevates the leak detection industry services into the new era of automation. Our intelligent in-house developed and manufactured systems autonomously navigate drones, gather spatial readings of artificial electric field and mark precise GPS coordinates of any field discrepancies – leaks. This innovative technology provides the fastest and most accurate leak detection service on the current market. ELIS thus helps to reduce the adverse impact of potentially toxic leaks on environment, enhances regulatory certainty and saves time and resources of its partners. On the top of everything, the use of our technology can have significant positive impact on the investor/public relations of our clients, especially in the realm of ESG.
Our technology is widely used in tailings ponds, water reservoirs and other projects that require waterproof geomembrane liner.Zuzana Gregorová