Monitoring Belgian drinking water quality from source to tap

In Belgium, the pipe::scan and the micro::station are used to monitor the drinking water network. Up to 10 parameters are measured simultaneously and s::can’s event detection system helps to safeguard the water at all times.



Farys|TMVW is a Belgian drinking water company supplying drinking water to the coast area which is produced in the central part of the country. For this, water is transported in large pipes over more than 100 km.


To ensure high water quality, Farys|TMVW decided to install online water quality sensors. These online sensors should ideally be capable of measuring a wide range of relevant quality parameters complementary to the legal routines. Maintenance should be limited, and in places where less space is available, an in-pipe solution was required.

s::can’s solution

The s::can micro::station and the pipe::scan are the idealproducts as they measure multiple parameters simultaneously and require little maintenance. The pipe::scan is installed inpipe, the micro::station can be installed next to a conventional sampling line. The possibility for the pipe::scan to support several probes, makes it a perfect alternative for a micro::station for inpipe applications.


One of the greatest benefits of the s::can products is the event detection system that gets the most out of the acquired data by learning to recognise how water quality changes dynamically over time. When an abnormal change occurs, an alarm signal is sent to the sCaDa system to warn the operators.

Figure 1 shows the effect of maintenance works on water quality: A reservoir was flled from an alternative production plant. The water from that production plant has a higher conductivity (around 850 µs/cm) than the water produced in the production plant usually flling the reservoir (around 450-500 µs/cm). The switch occurred at 01:00 a.M. on 21/12 and the change in the conductivity is clearly visible in the line graphs of the data measured by the s::can condu::lyser.

The changes in the water quality described in Figure 1 were quickly picked up by the ana::tool software and a pattern alarm was triggered 3 hours and 30 minutes after switching. Pattern alarms are connected to the sCaDa system to warn the engineers of water quality changes. During this period the water quality complied to the Flemish and European drinking water standards at all times.

Furthermore, the simultaneous online measurements of UV254, TOC, DOC and free chlorine are usefull to stear chlorine dosage and to mitigate the formation of disinfection by-products. In combination with online microbiological monitoring by Farys|TMVW the s::can data offers valuable insights in the behaviour of the drinking water quality during distribution.


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