What are tracing dyes?

     
     
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 Different types of tracing dye 

Tracing dyes are non-toxic, odourless, soluble powders or liquids, typically bright or fluorescent in colour, which are dispersed into a flow of water so that you can perform a variety of tracing tests on that particular flow.

 

Tracing dyes come in liquid or powdered form. Powdered forms may be pressed into cakes, cones, doughnuts or tablets for ease of use and storage. 

 
     
     
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What is a tracing test?

 
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A tracing test involves a tracing dye being dispersed into a water flow so that the dye may be tracked and information gathered. Tracing tests are used in many different areas of trade and research. Typical applications include:

 

  • Pipe tracing

  • Leak detection

  • Checking for illegal tapping

  • Sewer and stormwater drainage analysis

  • Natural water flow analysis

  • Pollution studies

 
     
     
   

A brief history of tracing tests

 
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Tracing tests have been employed since the ancient times.

 

The use of tracing dyes is an evolution of the float tracing method which basically involves throwing a buoyant object into a water flow and seeing where it goes or where it emerges. Float tracing was often used to locate the course of natural spring waters. 

 
     
     
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Modern tracing tests have replaced the buoyant object with a dispersible dye that can be visually (or otherwise) monitored for the gathering of information.

 

Tracing tests are either quantitative (presence, direction or speed of a flow) or qualitative (when the traced dye is measured by special instruments).

 
     
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