Water Service Provider Locates Leaks and Reduces Water Loss on a Critical Steel Transmission Main in the Heart of Milan

Metropolitana Milanese

Milan, Italy


Metropolitana Milanese (MM) provides integrated water services for the City of Milan. The utility prioritized the Assiano Linate Transmission Main for inspection and proactively assessed 9 kilometers (5.5 miles) of the steel pipeline using Xylem’s SmartBall® inline leak detection tool. 


The Assiano Linate Transmission Main is a critical link in MM’s water network. The 1200-milimeter (48 in) pipeline was installed in 1982, and MM had no prior information on its condition. The main is located in the heart of Milan, so a failure would be costly and disruptive.


The SmartBall platform inspected a section of the pipeline for leaks and air pockets without any negative impact on the utility’s daily operations. Identifying and repairing leaks can prevent failures, as metallic pipes often leak before breaking.


SmartBall identified 23 leaks, including eight over a short 240-meter (790 ft) section. Despite localized damage, results indicated most of the pipeline was in serviceable condition. The inspection provided MM with data to make targeted repairs, reduce real water loss, and inform capital planning.


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