For safe supply of drinking water, water 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 N.V., the largest drinking water company of the Netherlands, set a goal to explore and invest in the development of intelligent water supply. In order to do this Vitens N.V. has set up a demonstration network for online water quality monitoring, the Vitens Innovation Playground (VIP). With the recent innovative developments in the field of online sensoring Vitens kicked off, in 2011, its first major online sensoring program by implementing a sensor grid based on EventLab systems from Optiqua Technologies Pte Ltd in the distribution network. EventLab utilizes bulk refractive index as a generic parameter for continuous real time monitoring of changes in water quality. Key characteristics of this innovative optical sensor technology, high sensitivity generic sensors at low cost, make it ideal for deployment as an early warning system.
This paper describes different components of the system, the technological challenges that were overcome, and presents performance data and conclusions from deployment of Optiqua's EventLab systems in the VIP.