Return to ASDWA's Newsroom

New Risk Communication Guidance and Event Detection System Challenge Results from EPA’s Water Security Division

For nearly 10 years, EPA’s Water Security Division has been working on a phased approach to address the risk of intentional contamination of drinking water distribution systems.  Originally called the “Water Sentinel,” the now named Water Security Initiative (WS) is beginning to publish materials from the third and final phase of the effort.  The two latest documents provide “how to” information on developing a Risk Communication Plan and, separately, the results from the Event Detection System Challenge to analyze distribution system water quality data.  Click on the titles below to view the documents.

  • Water Quality Event Detection System Challenge: Methodology and Findings (PDF)  This report describes the methodology and results from the Event Detection System (EDS) Challenge. Water Quality Event Detection Systems use algorithms with various degrees of sophistication to analyze distribution system water quality data in real time and provide an alert if conditions are deemed abnormal. This study demonstrated a rigorous procedure for the objective analysis of EDS performance, analyzing both invalid alerts and anomaly detection rates. Five commonly used EDSs were evaluated using an extensive dataset containing utility water quality data and simulated contamination events.

These documents and others related to the Water Security Initiative are available on the EPA website.