Like all structures, water pressure pipelines have a finite life. Pipelines will eventually begin to fail, leaving the pipeline owner to deal with the quandary: what caused this to happen, can we prevent future failures, must we replace this structure now? The causes for pipeline failure include defects and anomalies which may occur in any phase of a pipeline's life: during the engineering, the manufacture, the construction, or the operation. Failure may simply be the result of environmental conditions or old age. In the past five years, passive acoustic emission detection technology has been adapted to concrete pressure pipelines. This method of inspection is based on the caustic emissions made by the prestressed reinforcing wire as it releases its energy. A recently patented method of using this technology relies on a series of remote, independent test stations to detect, record and time-stamp these acoustic emissions. A low-powered, high- performance embedded processor system makes use of global positioning system time signals to synchronize multiple stations. These methods are re-defining the standard of care of water pressure pipelines. This paper describes pipeline failure mechanisms and a state-of-the-art data sampling system which has been developed to evaluate pipeline structural integrity.