Office of Research and Development Publications

CANARY Eases Water Quality Event Detection


Hall, J., S. Panguluri, R. Murray, AND J. Burkhardt. CANARY Eases Water Quality Event Detection. OPFLOW. American Water Works Association, Denver, CO, 43(4):30-31, (2017).


Many utilities need real world data on cost and effort associated with CANARY installation and deployment. Demonstrating cost effective CANARY deployments and publishing results will increase CANARY useage in the field.


CANARY is a free EPA software product used to enhance the detection of contamination incidents in distribution systems (i.e. Event Detection System) using typical water quality sensors such as those measuring free chlorine, total organic carbon, and electrical conductivity. Working in conjunction with a network of sensors placed strategically throughout a distribution system, CANARY increases the likelihood and speed of detection by interpreting sensor data in near realtime, identifying anomalies, and alerting operators when contamination might be present. CANARY was used by several very large (greater than 100,000 customers) utilities and has operated at some water utilities for more than five years. CANARY benefits water utilities’ daily operations by helping to identify problems with chemical feeds, pipe breaks, cross connections, and water quality changes. This Case study demonstrates how the CANARY event detection software can be integrated into an existing hydraulic modeling software for a much lower cost (Approx $15,000) and deployed at a smaller sized utility (Akron Water works, 85,000 customers).

Record Details:

Product Published Date: 04/01/2017
Record Last Revised: 08/19/2020
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 346830