water distribution system, monitoring, security, algorithm, dual use, operations
The distribution system represents the last analytical frontier in the water quality industry. Since 9/11, numerous communities have installed multi-parameter monitoring stations in locations throughout the distribution system as early warning systems based on potential water security threats. These continuous on-line systems have recorded large streams of data relevant to water quality in the distribution systems in which they have been deployed. In this study data streams from a number of communities are analyzed for pertinent information as to the health and operation of the distribution system. Changes in water quality are correlated with known causes attributable to day-to-day operational changes (source water switching, chlorine shocking, pumps turning on and off, pressure surges) and also anomalous events (pipe bursts, accidental back flows, cross connections, chemical over feeds, treatment plant problems, nitrification events, etc.). Information concerning what if any action was taken to ameliorate the problem will also be linked to the data for the identified events. The data streams also show the diversity in what could be termed “normal” operating conditions both within and between different classes and types of systems. This sort of information is critical in understanding and improving the operation of our distribution systems.