Multiobjective Optimization of Operational Responses for Contaminant Flushing in Water Distribution Networks


Contamination emergency in water distribution systems is a complex situation where optimal operation becomes important for public health. In case of emergency corrective operational actions for flushing the pollutant out of the network are needed, which have to be fast and accurate. Under such a stressful situation, trial-and-error simulation experiments with the hydrodynamic and water quality models cannot be applied since significant number of model evaluations may be required to identify the optimal solution. This paper presents a methodology for finding sets of operational interventions in a supply network for flushing a contaminant by minimizing the impact on the population. The situation is treated as both single- and multiobjective optimization problem, which is solved by using evolutionary optimization approaches, in combination with the EPANET solver engine. The methodology is tested on a simple imaginary network configuration, as well as on a real case study for the city of Villavicencio in Colombia. The results prove the usefulness of the approach for advising the operators and decision makers.