Case Study

Online Water Quality Monitoring Warning System in Philadelphia

KISTERS and Philadelphia Water Department Case Study


Related Topics

Water Quality Monitoring

The Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) and Water Revenue Bureau serve the Greater Philadelphia region by providing integrated water, wastewater, and storm water services. The utility’s primary mission is to plan for, operate and maintain both the infrastructure and the organisation necessary to supply high quality drinking water, to provide an adequate and reliable water supply for all household, commercial and community needs; and to sustain and enhance the region’s watersheds and quality of life by managing wastewater and storm water effectively.


  • Acquire and store water quality sensor measurement and sensor state data (calibration/maintenance status) at two minute intervals.
  • Perform automated data validation based on sensor state status.
  • Perform validation based on client and industry business rules to determine whether the data are appropriate for assessing water quality.
  • Analyse data to assess water quality and sensor states.
  • Generate and terminate alarms based on sensor states and water quality thresholds.
  • Alarm announcements via SMS and email notifications.
  • Escalate alarm notifications to appropriate personnel.
  • Generate standard and user-configured reports with qualitative data.
  • Control access to all data, results, and reports through user administration roles and rights.
  • Securely store while allowing users to easily retrieve data.
  • Integrate data management with third-party applications to meet OWQM System requirements.
  • Achieve 99.9% availability.


PWD selected to implement WISKI (Water Information Systems KISTERS) as its OWQM data management system to manage:

  • Import of approximately 3,200 values every two minutes.
  • Data validation, computation and aggregation requiring an additional 24 time series per imported value to support the data demand of OWQM.
  • Configuration of alarms/alerts enabling Philadelphia Water to receive email and text messages based on events generated from both WISKI data evaluation and third-party alarm messages.
  • Configuration of Distributed Service Manager to enable automation of data imports from all sources.
  • Provision of secure access to WISKI API allowing for the integration of third-party applications.


WISKI implementation at PWD has been configured to fully automate its data management processing. Two minute interval data is imported from its SCADA system populating approximately 3,200 parameters. All data are validated in real time for reporting and sourcing data to third-party applications. Prior to using WISKI, Philadelphia Water Department was challenged; other solutions claimed to be able to manage all of the data management requirements for this project. After switching to WISKI, PWD employees are now able to focus their attention on operational functions while WISKI performs data quality management, notifying them by SMS or email of any analysis scenarios requiring further attention.


  • WISKI has the ability to store any time series data type with resolution down to a one second data raster.
  • All calculations are managed by the business logic layer (Time Series Manager) to provide a thin client and optimise the time for data processing.
  • The PWD WISKI implementation allows for all sensors to provide operational and communication status as time series data. This information can then be used in conjunction with the water quality values to determine overall data quality for event alarming while maintaining data integrity and security through all applications to the PWD OWQM System.
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