Meeting of waters; A large scale model of the distribution network identifies new possibilities to investigate water quality and transportation issues with online sensoring.

Vitens, the largest drinking water company of the Netherlands, developed a large scale model representing the Vitens Innovation Playground (VIP). Using this model it is possible to perform experiments that cannot be performed in real-life. We named it Meeting of Waters. Since it lacks real consumers, it is easier to perform experiments that would otherwise threaten the health and safety of our consumers. The scale model mimics the hydraulics of the actual distribution network which makes it possible to translate the results directly into the distribution network and is therefore unique in the world. These studies demonstrate and give new insights into processes in the distribution network like diffusion of substances, spread of infections and the behavior of sensors when events are simulated under extreme and real-life circumstances. Using this model we can assess the performance, the amount, and type of sensors that are needed to monitor the drinking water reliably.

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Design of the scale model Meeting of Waters of the VIP overlaying with GoogleMaps (1A) and the actual model (1B).