Optimal sensor placement for detecting organophosphate intrusions into water distribution systems

Ziv Ohar, Ori Lahav, Avi Ostfeld*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Placement of water quality sensors in a water distribution system is a common approach for minimizing contamination intrusion risks. This study incorporates detailed chemistry of organophosphate contaminations into the problem of sensor placement and links quantitative measures of the affected population as a result of such intrusions. The suggested methodology utilizes the stoichiometry and kinetics of the reactions between organophosphate contaminants and free chlorine for predicting the number of affected consumers. This is accomplished through linking a multi-species water quality model and a statistical dose-response model. Three organophosphates (chlorpyrifos, malathion, and parathion) are tested as possible contaminants. Their corresponding by-products were modeled and accounted for in the affected consumers impact calculations. The methodology incorporates a series of randomly generated intrusion events linked to a genetic algorithm for minimizing the contaminants impact through a sensors system. Three example applications are explored for demonstrating the model capabilities through base runs and sensitivity analyses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-203
Number of pages11
JournalWater Research
StatePublished - 5 Apr 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Genetic algorithms
  • Organophosphates
  • Sensor placement
  • Water distribution systems
  • Water security


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