Hydro-informatics and Innovative Technology

Oral Abstract

Optimizing Sensor Placement for Water Distribution Systems

Wednesday, January 4
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Location: 5th Meeting Room

In order to improve the efficiency of water distribution system operation and management, water companies and utilities are increasingly embarking on long-term monitoring program or conducting short-term data logging to capture the hydraulic and water quality characteristics throughout a water network. The data collected can be used for many purposes. For instance, pressure and flow data can be used for detecting anomaly events, predicting water consumption, calibrating hydraulic model, identifying new and long-lasting leakage hotspots, water quality data can be used for calibrating water quality models, flow testing program can improve the quality of field data collection and also cleaning up (flushing) the pipelines. Therefore, monitoring and field data logging are vital tasks for water companies and utilities.

Previous research focused on sampling design for hydraulic model calibration, and optimizing water quality sensor placement for detecting contamination events. More recently, some methods were developed for selecting the most sensitive location for placing pressure loggers for detecting new pipe bursts. However, due to the limited budget and the large scale of the water distribution systems, the challenge is to determine how many and where to place the pressure loggers, which hydrant and how many hydrants to flush for flow test, where and how many water quality sensors must be placed in a system. This paper presents the development of a unified method and an integrated software prototype for optimizing pressure logger placement, hydrant selection for flow test and conventional flushing, and water quality sensor placement for water quality model calibration, and also elaborates on the application of the tool for each type of data collection optimizations. It is illustrated that the tool is easy to use and the methods are effective for practitioners to come up with a technically sound field data collection program that can be long-term permanent monitoring or short-term data logging, hydrant flow testing and conventional flushing.

Zheng YI.. Wu

Bentley Fellow, Director Applied Research
Bentley System Inc


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