Much progress has been made over the last decade in understanding the behaviour of flow through leak openings with changes in water mains pressure. In particular it has been established that variations in leak areas with pressure is the main factor responsible for the range of leakage exponents observed in practice, and several numerical and experimental studies have investigated this behaviour. This paper provides an overview of the advances in leakage modelling over the last decade and then presents the results of a new experimental study of various leak types (round holes and longitudinal, spiral and circumferential cracks) in different pipe materials (unplasticised polyvinylchloride, modified polyvinylchloride, high density polyethylene and steel). The experimental results are evaluated in light of the latest theoretical advances and recommendations are made for further experimental studies.

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