Pipe maker Aliaxis buys leak detection specialist Aquarius

Brussels-based pipe manufacturer Aliaxis SA acquired Israel-based Aquarius Spectrum, a provider of water leak detection and pipe condition assessment products, for its newly created Aliaxis Next division, which is developing related businesses in water management and protection.

Aquarius Spectrum’s revenue is less than €5 million ($5.1 million) per year with strong growth potential, according to a press release about the deal.

Terms were not disclosed.

Aquarius Spectrum technology uses acoustic sensors and computer analysis to detect water leaks and pinpoint their exact location. The technology has saved nearly 8 billion liters of water, equivalent to 3,200 Olympic-size swimming pools, the press release said.

Fredrik Östbye, head of Aliaxis Next, describes the technology developed by the Aquarius Spectrum team as “very promising”.

“They have demonstrated their entrepreneurial and business skills. We are very excited to build on their technology so that together we can more accurately detect and fix water leaks. Together we will continue to work to conserve the world’s water resources.” Östbye said in the press release.

Eric Olsen, CEO of Aliaxis added, “Due to the aging of water infrastructure, 35 percent of the world’s transported water is lost through hidden leaks that still cannot be repaired. Aquarius Spectrum’s state-of-the-art technology significantly reduces water losses and proactively monitors them for future leaks in both new and legacy infrastructure. The acquisition of Aquarius Spectrum is an important step in advancing our quest to create the next generation of solutions with real societal impact.”

In North America, Aliaxis is the parent company of Ipex Group, a Canada-based tubing manufacturer with manufacturing facilities and distribution centers throughout North America and a US headquarters, Ipex USA LLC, in Pineville, NC

With estimated annual sales of $900 million, Ipex Group is the fifth largest tube, profile and tube extruder in North America according to the latest ranking from Plastics News.

Ipex manufactures thermoplastic piping systems for the municipal, irrigation, industrial, plumbing, mechanical, electrical and telecommunications markets.

From 2016 to 2021, pipe maker Uponor Oyj was involved in a similar effort, but for the housing market.

Uponor owned 50 percent of the joint venture company Phyn LLC, which provides water sensing and water protection technology, but sold it to its partner Belkin International Inc. for an undisclosed price.

Phyn’s original technology detects leaks in domestic plumbing and can shut off water. The product line was then further developed to also let homeowners know if their pipes were at risk of freezing in extreme cold.

Uponor officials have partnered with Belkin to promote the technology and offer their plumbing expertise, professional trade knowledge and a global wholesale distribution channel.

However, the partnership ended in August 2021 when Uponor took an impairment on Phyn’s valuation.

“These five years have proven that Phyn is on the right track with its water leak detection technology, but market acceptance has not reached the targeted level,” said Jyri Luomakoski, President and CEO of Uponor Corp., at the time.

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