A water distribution network fulfills the roles of storing, treating and conveying drinking water. It is a critical part of the requirement for water utilities to take “source to tap” responsibility for delivering safe drinking water to its customers.

There are many opportunities for water quality to be compromised in drinking water distribution systems – biofilm in pipes, contamination during line breaks and periods of low pressure, and animal droppings in uncovered reservoirs are well known problems. Until now, drinking water distribution systems have been black holes for information, and short-term water quality events could pass unnoticed.

Enabling managers to make decisions and take effective action requires accurate and “near real-time” multi-parameter water quality data, at strategic locations across the network.

Blue I Technologies now offers the Smart LEA (low energy analyser), a low energy, self-powered, multi-parameter water quality analyser designed specifically for performing measurements at hard-to-reach places along the water distribution network, without requiring power or communication infrastructure.

Comparison of free chlorine data from three installed smart leas, over the same one-month period.

Comparison of free chlorine data from three installed smart leas, over the same one-month period.

Battery life is enhanced by the use of low-power components and innovative operational algorithms. Site visits for maintenance are minimal, and measurement can be performed where it is needed and not where it is simply convenient.

Measurement data and alarms are logged locally and also transmitted through GSM/GPRS data communication systems. Rapid response to level changes in the parameters being monitored enables real-time reporting and alerts, allowing prompt corrective action. Precise positioning of each Smart LEA on a map on the user interface avoids any confusion about location.

Manual labour required for sampling and analysis is dramatically reduced, and incident response delays, caused by waiting for laboratory results, are eliminated.

The Smart LEA combines information and communication technology with accurate water analysis.

Comparison of consuctivity data from three installed smart leas, over the same one-month period.

Comparison of consuctivity data from three installed smart leas, over the same one-month period.

Water chemistry (free or total chlorine, pH and ORP) is measured using high-precision amperometric technology. Integrated pH and temperature compensation enables accurate measurements at low levels of chlorine, providing stable and reliable measurements.

Physical measurements (turbidity and conductivity) are measured with innovative, low-power devices.

The network status is indicated by line pressure measurement and the ability to accept a flow signal. Calibration can be performed remotely.

Optimos Solutions has installed Smart LEAs in three Australian distribution systems – in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.

Within a very short time, valuable insights into the water quality dynamics of these distribution systems are being gained. Comparing the trend plots, we can see three quite different systems delivering very different water quality to end users. Comparing the water quality data from the three networks is analogous to comparing the data from three different parts of a large network.

Comparison of Free Chlorine data from three installed Smart LEAs, over the same one-month period.

This partner content is brought to you by Optimos Solutions. For more information, visit

Lauren brings a fresh approach to content. While she’s previously written for publications as diverse as Australian Geographic, The Border Watch and Girlfriend, she’s found her true passion in her current role as an editor in the world of energy and infrastructure trade magazines.

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