American Society of Civil Engineers


Characterizing Reactive Contaminant Sources in a Water Distribution System


by Jitendra Kumar, (Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA E-mail: jkumar@ncsu.edu), E. Downey Brill, (Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA E-mail: brill@ncsu.edu), G Mahinthakumar, (Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA E-mail: gmkumar@ncsu.edu), and Ranji Ranjithan, (Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA E-mail: ranji@ncsu.edu)
Section: Network Water Quality Analysis 2, pp. 666-671, (doi:  http://dx.doi.org/10.1061/41036(342)65)

     Access full text
     Purchase Subscription
     Permissions for Reuse  

Document type: Conference Proceeding Paper
Part of: World Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2009: Great Rivers
Abstract: Accurate knowledge of the characteristics of the contamination source during a contamination event is necessary for development of any mitigation and control strategy. Contaminant injected in a system is most likely to be reactive with chlorine; however, it is impractical for water quality monitoring systems to be able to monitor for the presence of all possible contaminants. In any distribution system, chlorine levels and other water quality parameters (pH, conductance, etc.) are routinely monitored to maintain the prescribed disinfection capacity. Any reactive contaminant would affect the chlorine levels resulting in deviations in the expected chlorine levels from those expected under normal operating conditions. Anomalies in the chlorine concentration from that of the expected value can be used as a surrogate to characterize the contaminant source in the system. In the absence of knowing the reactive characteristics of the contaminants, the location of injection, and injection pattern, source identification becomes a difficult problem to solve. Source identification can be posed as an inverse problem. In earlier work authors investigated the effect of the order of reaction kinetics of the contaminant with chlorine and its impact on source identification problem assuming the reaction kinetics to be known. That work is extended to investigate a methodology to address the source identification problem based on chlorine measurements, and the effects of different uncertain contamination conditions. Findings from a range of scenarios will be presented and discussed.


ASCE Subject Headings:
Water pollution
Water distribution systems
Drinking water
Public health