A survey on sensor placement for contamination detection in water distribution systems

Chengyu Hu, Ming Li, Deze Zeng, Song Guo

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


Frequent water pollution incidents have occurred recently, leading to severe damages, economic loss, and long-lasting society impact. Therefore, installation of water quality monitoring sensors in water distribution system (WDS) has been advocated as a viable solution to enable real-time pollution detection and thus the mitigation of the risks associated with catastrophic contamination incidents. Given the significant cost of placing sensors at all locations in a network, a critical issue is where to deploy the sensors within the distribution system while the network still gets covered. Although there exist a significant number of articles on sensor placement, WDS for contamination detection is unique comparing to other networks such as power grids, road networks, structural networks and microwave radio networks. In this paper, we conduct a comprehensive literature survey on the sensor placement problem for contamination detection in WDS, with a special focus on optimization strategies and framework. Current challenges, issues, and research directions are also identified and discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)647-661
Number of pages15
JournalWireless Networks
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018


  • Optimization algorithm
  • Sensor placement
  • Water distribution system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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