David Cook


3 Optimization of Operational Water Quality Parameters in a Drinking Water Distribution System Using Response Surface Methodology

Authors: Sina Moradi, Christopher W. K. Chow, John Van Leeuwen, David Cook, Mary Drikas, Rose Amal, Patrick Hayde


Chloramine is commonly used as a disinfectant in drinking water distribution systems (DWDSs), particularly in Australia and the USA. Maintaining a chloramine residual throughout the DWDS is important in ensuring microbiologically safe water is supplied at the customer’s tap. In order to simulate how chloramine behaves when it moves through the distribution system, a water quality network model (WQNM) can be applied. In this work, the WQNM was based on mono-chloramine decomposition reactions, which enabled prediction of mono-chloramine residual at different locations through a DWDS in Australia, using the Bentley commercial hydraulic package (Water GEMS). The accuracy of WQNM predictions is influenced by a number of water quality parameters. Optimization of these parameters in order to obtain the closest results in comparison with actual measured data in a real DWDS would result in both cost reduction as well as reduction in consumption of valuable resources such as energy and materials. In this work, the optimum operating conditions of water quality parameters (i.e. temperature, pH, and initial mono-chloramine concentration) to maximize the accuracy of mono-chloramine residual predictions for two water supply scenarios in an entire network were determined using response surface methodology (RSM). To obtain feasible and economical water quality parameters for highest model predictability, Design Expert 8.0 software (Stat-Ease, Inc.) was applied to conduct the optimization of three independent water quality parameters. High and low levels of the water quality parameters were considered, inevitably, as explicit constraints, in order to avoid extrapolation. The independent variables were pH, temperature and initial mono-chloramine concentration. The lower and upper limits of each variable for two water supply scenarios were defined and the experimental levels for each variable were selected based on the actual conditions in studied DWDS. It was found that at pH of 7.75, temperature of 34.16 ºC, and initial mono-chloramine concentration of 3.89 (mg/L) during peak water supply patterns, root mean square error (RMSE) of WQNM for the whole network would be minimized to 0.189, and the optimum conditions for averaged water supply occurred at pH of 7.71, temperature of 18.12 ºC, and initial mono-chloramine concentration of 4.60 (mg/L). The proposed methodology to predict mono-chloramine residual can have a great potential for water treatment plant operators in accurately estimating the mono-chloramine residual through a water distribution network. Additional studies from other water distribution systems are warranted to confirm the applicability of the proposed methodology for other water samples.

Keywords: Modelling, Water Quality Parameters, response surface methodology, chloramine decay

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2 Willingness to Pay for the Preservation of Geothermal Areas in Iceland: The Contingent Valuation Studies of Eldvörp and Hverahlíð

Authors: David Cook, Brynhildur Davidsdottir, Dadi. M. Kristofersson


The approval of development projects with significant environmental impacts implies that the economic costs of the affected environmental resources must be less than the financial benefits, but such irreversible decisions are frequently made without ever attempting to estimate the monetary value of the losses. Due to this knowledge gap in the processes informing decision-making, development projects are commonly approved despite the potential for social welfare to be undermined. Heeding a repeated call by the OECD to commence economic accounting of environmental impacts as part of the cost-benefit analysis process for Icelandic energy projects, this paper sets out the results pertaining to the nation’s first two contingent valuation studies of geothermal areas likely to be developed in the near future. Interval regression using log-transformation was applied to estimate willingness to pay (WTP) for the preservation of the high-temperature Eldvörp and Hverahlíð fields. The estimated mean WTP was 8,333 and 7,122 ISK for Eldvörp and Hverahlíð respectively. Scaled up to the Icelandic population of national taxpayers, this equates to estimated total economic value of 2.10 and 1.77 billion ISK respectively. These results reinforce arguments in favour of accounting for the environmental impacts of Iceland’s future geothermal power projects as a mandatory component of the exploratory and production license application process. Further research is necessary to understand the economic impacts to specific ecosystem services associated with geothermal environments, particularly connected to changes in recreational amenity. In so doing, it would be possible to gain greater comprehension of the various components of total economic value, evolving understanding of why one geothermal area – in this case, Eldvörp – has a higher preservation value than another.

Keywords: geothermal energy, Preservation, Decision-making, contingent valuation

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1 HPSEC Application as a New Indicator of Nitrification Occurrence in Water Distribution Systems

Authors: Sina Moradi, Sanly Liu, Christopher W. K. Chow, John Van Leeuwen, David Cook, Mary Drikas, Soha Habibi, Rose Amal


In recent years, chloramine has been widely used for both primary and secondary disinfection. However, a major concern with the use of chloramine as a secondary disinfectant is the decay of chloramine and nitrification occurrence. The management of chloramine decay and the prevention of nitrification are critical for water utilities managing chloraminated drinking water distribution systems. The detection and monitoring of nitrification episodes is usually carried out through measuring certain water quality parameters, which are commonly referred to as indicators of nitrification. The approach taken in this study was to collect water samples from different sites throughout a drinking water distribution systems, Tailem Bend – Keith (TBK) in South Australia, and analyse the samples by high performance size exclusion chromatography (HPSEC). We investigated potential association between the water qualities from HPSEC analysis with chloramine decay and/or nitrification occurrence. MATLAB 8.4 was used for data processing of HPSEC data and chloramine decay. An increase in the absorbance signal of HPSEC profiles at λ=230 nm between apparent molecular weights of 200 to 1000 Da was observed at sampling sites that experienced rapid chloramine decay and nitrification while its absorbance signal of HPSEC profiles at λ=254 nm decreased. An increase in absorbance at λ=230 nm and AMW < 500 Da was detected for Raukkan CT (R.C.T), a location that experienced nitrification and had significantly lower chloramine residual (<0.1 mg/L). This increase in absorbance was not detected in other sites that did not experience nitrification. Moreover, the UV absorbance at 254 nm of the HPSEC spectra was lower at R.C.T. than other sites. In this study, a chloramine residual index (C.R.I) was introduced as a new indicator of chloramine decay and nitrification occurrence, and is defined based on the ratio of area underneath the HPSEC spectra at two different wavelengths of 230 and 254 nm. The C.R.I index is able to indicate DS sites that experienced nitrification and rapid chloramine loss. This index could be useful for water treatment and distribution system managers to know if nitrification is occurring at a specific location in water distribution systems.

Keywords: Nitrification, HPSEC, chloramine decay, chloramine residual index

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