IWA Publishing

Detecting anomalies in water distribution networks using EPR modelling paradigm


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Sustainable management of water distribution networks (WDNs) requires effective exploitation of available data from pressure/flow devices. Water companies collect a large amount of such data, which need to be managed correctly and analysed effectively using appropriate techniques. Furthermore, water companies need to balance the data gathering and handling costs with the benefits of extracting useful information. Recent approaches implementing data mining techniques for analysing pressure/flow data appear very promising, because they can automate mundane tasks involved in data analysis process and efficiently deal with sensor data collected. Furthermore, they rely on empirical observations of a WDN behaviour over time, allowing reproducing/predicting possible future behaviour of the network. This paper investigates the effectiveness of the evolutionary polynomial regression (EPR) paradigm to reproduce the behaviour of a WDN using on-line data recorded by low-cost pressure/flow devices. Using data from a real district metered area, the case study presented shows that by using the EPR paradigm a model can be built which enables the accurate reproduction and prediction of the WDN behaviour over time and detection of flow anomalies due to possible unreported bursts or unknown increase of water withdrawal. Such an EPR model might be integrated into an early warning system to raise alarms when anomalies are detected.

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