Identifying contamination source and diffusion areas in drinking water distribution systems

Contamination Source Toolkit

When contamination incidents occur in the distribution system, as a result of work on the network for example, it is important to detect the contamination source as quickly as possible and to determine which customers might be receiving contaminated water. The Contamination Source Toolkit (CST) provides solutions to such needs.

On the basis of hydraulic calculations, one can, using a combination of observations, determine the probable contamination source area in a network. One can then, based on this probable source area, determine the possible diffusion of the contamination concerned.

Waarschijnlijkheid van de herkomst van water op de groene knoop (rechtsboven), van zwart (0) via blauw (laag) naar rood (hoog).

Probability of the water’s origin at the green button (top-right), from black (0) through blue (low) to red (high).

Placement of water-quality sensors

But the programme is capable of more. For example, when a water utility wants to proactively detect possible contaminations, by using water-quality sensors for instance, CST can be used to define where these sensors can best be placed so as to maximise the chance of detection. This ensures a maximum return is made from an investment in such a sensor network.

Effective mitigation and execution

The rapid determination of the source and destination of a contamination permits a water utility to take effective measures to dam the contamination and remove it from the network. This minimises the exposure of customers and shortens the duration of the incident concerned.