Background: Monitoring the quality of potable water is a challenging endeavor due to the
significant sources of contaminants, the majority of which are human-induced. Limited access to drinking
water owing to acceleration in industrialization, urbanization in consort with growing inhabitants,
unprocessed sewage discharge, and toxic industrial effluents causes different life-threatening diseases.
Manual water quality monitoring techniques vividly aggravate quality deterioration. Considering the
significance of the automatic water quality monitoring system, we need an in-situ, real-time, continuous
surveillance system to ascertain the quality of potable water. Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) motivated
us for a practical water quality monitoring system due to their continuous, real-time, and adaptive
infrastructure to provide an early alert in hazardous conditions.
Objective: To design and implement an online potable water quality monitoring network for rural water
supply schemes in Nagapattinam district, Tamilnadu, India, to sense physiochemical parameters of potable
water such as pH, turbidity, conductivity and temperature.
Methods: Online POTable water quality monitoring NETwork (POTNET) integrates the reimbursements
of WSN and different information and communication technologies for data acquisition, data
processing, and data visualization. The core hardware of POTNET contains off-the-shelf sensors (i.e.,
electrodes), a microcontroller, a data transmission system, a customized buoyage, and a sink node. It
senses physiochemical parameters of potable water such as pH, turbidity, conductivity, and temperature
in a pre-programmed time interval. Furthermore, it enables cloud storage for gathered information and
generates an alert to the preregistered user via mobile phones when there is a deviation of quality
measures from threshold values.
Results: The system was implemented in three overhead tanks for seven days in order to validate the
stability of the buoy and efficiency of energy source, storage, and data transmission. It senses physiochemical
parameters of potable water such as pH, turbidity, conductivity, and temperature in its predefined
interval of 30 minutes. To check the system accuracy, the measured data values from developed
sensors were compared with the observed data values using a commercial multi-parameter water checker,
the Horiba® probe. Measured data were sent through the transceivers to the base station for data
logging in a suitable format for ease of data visualization and utilization.
Conclusion: Extensive experimental results reveal that our POTNET can be employed for potable water
quality surveillance to help consumers or concern authorities to make a sound decision by providing
appropriate and real-time data.