Monitoring for any acoustic indications of pipe failure is one technique for monitoring pipe material or pipe system degradation. For instance, pipe failure resulting in a leak in a water system can be identified by listening for the characteristic acoustic signature of a leak. Another example is the acoustic monitoring for prestressing wire breaks in prestressed concrete pipe. Breaks in prestressing wire can occur with age in a prestressed concrete pipe due to stress corrosion. Isolated breaks in the wire do not necessarily imply structural failure on their own but the number of wire breaks and the rate of breakage over time can be used as an indication of the danger of a major pipe failure and to trigger pipe replacement before such failure occurs.