Mobile sensors for water quality management in water distribution systems

Nathan Sankary, Nurit Oliker, Avi Ostfeld, Amin Rasekh, Ruoxi Wu, Margaret Katherine Banks, Marshall Porterfield

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationWorld Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2015
Subtitle of host publicationFloods, Droughts, and Ecosystems - Proceedings of the 2015 World Environmental and Water Resources Congress
PublisherAmerican Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9780784479162
StatePublished - 2015
EventWorld Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2015: Floods, Droughts, and Ecosystems - Austin, United States
Duration: May 17 2015May 21 2015


OtherWorld Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2015: Floods, Droughts, and Ecosystems
CountryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Mobile sensors for water quality management in water distribution systems'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this