Monitoring and Control in Water Distribution Networks

Abstract: Many cities worldwide must deal with the maintenance of aging infrastructures such as water distribution systems where there are significant losses due to leakage, increasingly frequent failures due to pipe bursts and growing concerns regarding water quality in the pipe network. Prior research (WaterWiSe@sg) funded through the Center for Environmental Sensing and Modeling, and carried out in collaboration with the Singapore Public Utilities Board (PUB) has led to a proof-of-concept, end-to-end system for continuous remote monitoring of the water distribution system in downtown Singapore (FCPH zone), including a generic wireless sensing platform capable of measuring hydraulic (pressure and flow), acoustic (hydrophone) and water quality parameters (pH, ORP, conductivity, turbidity), a data collection and visualization infrastructure, and a set of modeling and analysis tools. The testbed provides a unique opportunity for advancing research capabilities. Current research includes the development of analytical tools to 1) optimize the placement of sensors within the complex network, 2) improve the detection and localization of hydraulic and water quality anomalies; and 3) automate tools that can enable sub-zones of the system to be isolated (to reduce public health risks). Further studies aim to measure and characterize the development of biofilms within the water pipes.