Efficient Sensor Placement for Leak Localization Considering Uncertainties

David B. Steffelbauer*, Daniela Fuchs-Hanusch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Losses in water distribution systems can be between several percent in well maintained systems up to more than 50 percent in developing countries. Most of the losses originate from leaks. Therefore, a fast detection and localization of leaks is crucial for effectively reducing this losses in water distribution networks. Model-based leak localization has become increasingly popular in recent years. Certainly, the performance of these methods is linked to 1) the measurement locations in the system and 2) uncertainties at these locations. This paper provides a methodology that incorporates uncertainties of different types and sources in the optimal sensor placement problem for leak localization shown by the example of the effect of demand uncertainties on potential pressure measurement points. The problem is solved for different numbers of sensors and different strengths of uncertainties are taken into account. Additionally, to describe the relation between the number of sensors and the leak localization quality, a cost-benefit function is derived based on the different sensor placement results and GoF statistics. It was found that the function follows a power law. Results show that incorporating uncertainties leads to other optimal positions than without uncertainties, but the power law behavior still stays true. Additionally, more sensors are needed than without uncertainties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5517-5533
Number of pages17
JournalWater Resources Management
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016


  • Cost functions
  • Epanet2
  • OOPNet
  • Uncertainty propagation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology


Dive into the research topics of 'Efficient Sensor Placement for Leak Localization Considering Uncertainties'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this