The positioning of quality detection points as well as the frequency of sampling is a crucial aspect for the implementation of Water Safety Plans (WSPs), which have been proposed worldwide to ensure water quality and to minimize the risk from contamination in water distribution networks (WDNs). In this regard, some international legislations and best practices about quality of drinking water suggest very fine sampling frequencies, but they do not specify where the detection points should be located in a WDN. In this paper, three different approaches, based on empiricism, optimization and topology, respectively, were applied to locate detection quality points in a WDN. The comparison highlighted that empirical approach commonly adopted by water utility practitioners is unsatisfactory. The optimization-based approach, although performing significantly better, is difficult to apply, since it requires a calibrated hydraulic model. The topological approach, based on the use of the betweenness centrality and not requiring any hydraulic information and simulation, proves to be effective, and it can be easily adopted by water utilities to identify the location for quality detection points, due to its simplicity compared with the optimization-based approach.
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