Mobile Sensors for Water Quality Management in Water Distribution Systems Conference Paper uri icon


  • © 2015 ASCE. Delivery of safe drinking water to consumers is a vital infrastructure of all populations. Any large water distribution system is inherently prone to fault from intentional or accidental contamination, placing large populations at risk. Monitoring these systems through a wireless network of stationary sensors (WSN) has shown to be an effective method to protect a water supply. Recent technological advancements allow for the implementation of a high resolution mobile wireless sensor network (MWSN); where sensors function within the water flowing through municipal pipes to measure water quality parameters and to transmit data to fixed ground transceivers. With mobile sensor prototypes being developed and tested, a MWSN is likely to be physically deployed in the near future. Previous work has shown an ideal MWSN to increase water security system performance. Accounting for uncertainties in: data collection, data transmission to fixed transceivers and sensor lifetimes will provide beneficial insight to the realistic performance of a MWSN. The non-ideal operation of mobile sensors is simulated and applied to sample municipal networks using EPANET and genetic algorithms to optimize the deployment of multiple mobile sensors, and quantify operational sensitivity. Results show a MWSN used for protection of public water supply to be highly sensitive to battery life and receiver network coverage, while the interval between measurements shows little affect to MWSN performance.

author list (cited authors)

  • Sankary, N., Oliker, N., Ostfeld, A., Rasekh, A., Wu, R., Banks, M. K., & Porterfield, M.

citation count

  • 2

publication date

  • May 2015