Aug 14, 2008

AwwaRF Releases Report on Method for Evaluating Water Contaminant Warning Systems

Based on study that will provide water agencies with a method to evaluate contaminant warning system designs before purchasing and installing

Awwa Research Foundation (AwwaRF) recently announced the publication of a new report on a simulation tool to assess the performance of contaminant warning systems for water utilities.

AwwaRF co-sponsored the study on which the report is based with Sandia National Laboratories to provide water agencies with a method to evaluate contaminant warning system designs before purchasing and installing. Contaminant warning systems provide water utility personnel with early detection of potential chemical or biological contaminants in their water distribution systems.

The simulation method developed in the study models different contamination scenarios so that various sensor types and locations within a water distribution system can be evaluated. In addition, contamination scenarios can be assessed for a utility’s specific pipe layouts.

“Water utilities are faced with the ongoing need to provide safe, contaminant-free water to their customers,” said Robert C. Renner, executive director of AwwaRF. “Early detection and response to an accidental or intentional contamination event reduces public health risk and impact. AwwaRF research focuses on providing this kind of valuable information and tools to drinking water suppliers.”

The simulation tool allows utilities to realistically gauge how different operational parameters influence overall system performance. By using the tool, specific sensor attributes can be configured in the simulation so that different commercial sensor options in a utility-specific contaminant warning system design can be compared.

The report, “A Simulation Tool to Assess Contaminant Warning System Sensor Performance Characteristics,” (order #91219) is currently available to subscribers of AwwaRF. Subscribers may download a copy of the report free of charge by logging on to the foundation’s website at, or order a free printed copy by sending an e-mail to [email protected] or calling 888.844.5082.