Optimal placement of imperfect water quality sensors in water distribution networks

Casper de Winter, Venkata Reddy Palleti*, Daniel Worm, Robert Kooij

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)


Water Distribution Networks (WDNs) are often susceptible to either accidental or deliberate contamination which can lead to poisoned water, many fatalities and large economic consequences. In order to protect against these intrusions or attacks, an efficient sensor network with a limited number of sensors should be placed in a WDN. In this paper, we focus on optimal sensor placements by introducing two greedy-based algorithms in which the imperfection of sensors and multiple objectives can be taken into account. The algorithms were tested using a medium scale urban WDN. It is shown that our algorithms are able to find sensor placements in reasonable time and that its solutions are close to optimal. Furthermore, relaxing the often used assumption that sensors work perfectly results in different sensor placements than were found before, indicating the importance to take sensor imperfection into account when placing sensors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)200-211
Number of pages12
JournalComputers and Chemical Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project https://www.openaccess.nl/en/you-share-we-take-care
Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • Contaminant detection
  • Greedy algorithm
  • Imperfect sensors
  • Sensor placements
  • Water distribution networks


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