OR/14/010 Introduction

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Dearden, R A, Tye, A M and Marchant, A. 2014. User guide for the Pipe Leakage Impacts. Nottingham, UK, British geological Survey. (OR/14/010)


Pipes and culverts that transport water are susceptible to failure as a result of cracking, the formation of holes and ineffective seals. Leakage from pipes can result in wetting or saturation of the surrounding ground which can initiate or worsen ground movement compromising the leaking asset further or putting adjacent infrastructure at risk. This user guide describes the Pipe Leakage Impacts map, which has been developed by the BGS to indicate where pipe leakage may initiate or worsen ground instability. It considers which, and to what extent, ground stability hazards may be adversely affected by water leaking from pipes.

This map is intended for asset managers who are responsible for assessing the condition of underground pipes and culverts. In particular, the data may be useful for water companies or councils who need to determine where leaking pipes (or other sources of water) may impact ground instability, so that repairs, or other action, can be prioritised.


We would like to thank David Entwisle for his help and advice in the creation of this product and Jane Smalley for providing useful comments on this report. We’d also like to thank Dŵr Cymru and Yorkshire Water for feedback on the product and its potential applications.


Founded in 1835, the British Geological Survey (BGS) is the world's oldest national geological survey and the United Kingdom's premier centre for earth science information and expertise. The BGS provides expert services and impartial advice in all areas of geosciences and has a client base that is drawn from the public and private sectors both in the UK and internationally. Our innovative digital data products aim to help describe the ground surface and subsurface across the whole of Great Britain. These digital products are based on the outputs of the BGS survey and research programmes and our substantial national data holdings. This data coupled with our in-house geoscientific knowledge are combined to provide products relevant to a wide range of users in central and local government, insurance and housing, engineering and environmental business, and the British public.

Further information on all the digital data provided by the BGS can be found on our website at http://www.bgs.ac.uk/data/home.html or by contacting:

Central Enquiries
British Geological Survey
Environmental Science Centre
Keyworth, Nottingham NG12 5GG
Direct tel: +44(0)115 936 3143; Fax: +44(0)115 9363150
email: enquiries@bgs.ac.uk