Well field management in urban areas faces challenges such as pollution from old waste deposits and former industrial sites, pollution from chemical accidents along transport lines or in industry, or diffuse pollution from leaking sewers. One possibility to protect the drinking water of a well field is the maintenance of a hydraulic barrier between the potentially polluted and the clean water. An example is the Hardhof well field in Zurich, Switzerland. This paper presents the methodology for a simple and fast expert system (ES), applies it to the Hardhof well field, and compares its performance to the historical management method of the Hardhof well field. Although the ES is quite simplistic it considerably improves the water quality in the drinking water wells. The ES knowledge base is crucial for successful management application. Therefore, a periodic update of the knowledge base is suggested for the real-time application of the ES.

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