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Where to start with using water supply lines as communication medium?

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Holes Flow:

I want to test the viability of micro-controller communication site-to-site using just metal pipes buried underground. Thought it wise to toss it out first to you lot for comments. :)

We have metal pipes underground between houses that supply water, and probably the same for gas (in certain areas). While the drain lines can be of any materials, what ways are worth testing for using the supply lines? I'm talking about the actual pipe material as the medium (assuming the water can't?)... The BAUD rate would be ridiculously low, but it might not need to be high. I'd like to investigate, but asking here might be wise in advance.

Q: Is there anything stopping one from using metal supply lines for water to communicate over?
Q: If not, any ideas on which ways to try first?

I'm not talking about using WiFi or traditional radio, but the actual metal supply lines themselves.


Ummm, Buried metal water lines are considered a physical ground in my area. You may have better luck using the electric lines between houses, Google X-10 devices.

Have a look at things like 'HeyPhones' as used by cave rescue teams, mentioned here:

It would seem there are schematics as there are mentions of people building their own

You mean using acoustic waves, travelling in the steel tube wall? Should be feasible. Lots of effort gone in to analysing tube waves in (oil & gas) wellbore seismic applications, where they are generally a nuisance.

I'm not an EE but I would have thought grounding would be a significant issue seeing as most buried pipes aren't insulated?


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