Improving Contamination Detectability in Water Distribution Systems using Active Fault Detection
SourceProceedings of the 2018 Joint Conference on Water Distribution Systems Analysis and Computing and Control for the Water Industry (WDSA/CCWI 2018)
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Contamination event detection in Water Distribution Systems (WDS) is an important part of the overall procedures followed by operators to ensure the delivery of safe drinking water to consumers. In practice, detection methodologies may use a small number of sensors, which may be placed optimally throughout the network, to monitor water quality. Typically, due to their high costs, only a small number of these sensors are available within each WDS, and as a result, a part of the network is not monitored by sensors. In this paper, we propose a novel methodology for detecting contamination events by increasing the area monitored by these water quality sensors. Specifically, the proposed methodology can be used in emergency cases when information is available about a possible contamination event in the system, to actively manipulate WDS actuators, by closing and opening valves, and alter the flow directions within the network. This is based on the concept of Active Fault Detection, in which the control input of a system is modified with the aim to improve detectability of a fault. This active detection scheme, drives flows from specific parts of the network in pre-determined paths, to allow the sensors to monitor the quality of water from previously unobserved parts of the network. As a result, the monitoring coverage of the sensors is increased and some contamination events occurring within those areas can be detected. Moreover, the methodology facilitates the isolation of the contamination propagation path and its possible source. We demonstrate how such goals can be achieved on two simple example networks, discuss the benefits of the results and open the discussion for further work in this area.