To ensure the safe supply of drinking water, the quality needs to be monitored online in real time. The consequence of inadequate monitoring can result in substantial health risks and economic and reputational damages. Therefore, Vitens, the largest drinking water company of the Netherlands, set a goal to explore and invest in the development of intelligent water supply by implementing a smart water grid. To enable this, Vitens has allocated a designated part of their distribution network to be a demonstration network for online water quality monitoring, the Vitens Innovation Playground (VIP). In the VIP, a network of 44 Optiqua EventLab sensors has been installed. EventLab utilizes refractive index as a generic parameter for continuous real-time monitoring of changes in water quality. The EventLab units in the network transmit their data by GPRS to Optiqua servers where the data are processed using event detection algorithms. Deployed as an online sensor network, it allows early detection and rapid response, as well as accurate location of the spread of a contamination within the distribution network. The use of the EventLab sensor network under operational conditions in the VIP is described and its effectiveness is demonstrated by the detection of two water quality events.

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