Drinking water distribution networks must provide safe water to the consumers in adequate quantity and quality. In this framework, the present research work investigates an integrated approach for drinking water quality control by applying hydraulic and water quality models to a real aqueduct. The results of the model simulations allow identifying the optimal locations of monitoring stations in order to achieve an effective contaminant detection, and to ensure the maximum protection of the consumers health. The methodology is applied to a case study, referring to a real aqueduct located in Campania (South Italy). © 2015 Published by Elsevier Ltd.