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Real-time evaluation of the drinking water network

The Instituto de Microelectrónia de Barcelona participates in the WIDESENS project, aimed at the development of an innovative probe based on miniaturized electrochemical sensors for the feasible widespread evaluation of water quality in distribution networks.


The project Widesens will apply microelectronics to have sensors distributed thoroughly the water network for the evaluation of water quality in real-time.A usual problem in drinking water networks is that there is not a real-time evaluation of the distribution network. Incidents such as leakages or changes in water taste are not immediately detected and it is not rare that some users detect the problem before the company does it. To offer a solution, the European project WIDESENS (Water Network Sensors for Widespread Use) will develop small and low–cost probes and sensors, for a feasible widespread evaluation of water quality in distribution networks. In the project participates the group of Chemical Transducers at the Instituto de Microelectrónica de Barcelona of the CSIC. They are developing all the chemical sensors.

The WIDESENS probe will include sensors to measure pH, conductivity, fouling, redox-potential and chlorine, for evaluating the water quality, together with pressure, for assessing the quality of the service and leak detection.

Furthermore WIDESENS will develop the mechanics to enable the sensor self-calibration and cleaning, the telecommunications system and the processing and data acquisition software. The project shall result in several functional prototypes that will be validated in a drinking water network.

The supply of drinking water that is healthy, clean and palatable is a fundamental requirement of the European drinking water directive. The World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines for drinking water are used as a basis for the standards in the Drinking Water Directive (DWD).

Widesens is a project financed by the FP7 Capacities program for the benefit of SME´s. It is formed by 5 partners: Wellness Telecom (Spain), as a coordinator; T.E. Laboratories (Ireland), Hydrelis (France), the Instituto de Microelectronica de Barcelona of the CSIC (Spain) and INCDMTM (Romania).

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