“You can’t manage what you don’t monitor”, an adage first attributed to Lord Kelvin applies to practically everything, including water distribution systems.
Water utilities do a great job of producing good quality drinkable water in their processing plants. In the plant the water purification process is well monitored and scrutinized. Then the water is pushed out into the distribution system where far less is known. The primary reason for this lack of knowledge is that monitoring the water distribution infrastructure has been traditionally difficult and expensive.