Evaluation of Nitrate Treatment Methods Under Uncertainty

by Crystal C. Tannehill, (A.M.ASCE),
M. F. Dahab, (M.ASCE),
W. E. Woldt, (A.M.ASCE),

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: North American Water and Environment Congress & Destructive Water


There are several methods of removing nitrate from drinking water with varying degrees of cost and system perfonnance. In this study, the cost-effectiveness of the following nitrate removal options were compared for a small Nebraska town: reverse osmosis, ion exchange (standard and nitrate selective resins), bio-denitrification, and ion exchange with bio-denitrification of the recycled brine. A fuzzy-set theory based multiple criteria ranking procedure was used to determine which treatment method would remove the most nitrate for the least cost. The fuzzy methodology accounts for uncertainty in the input data by allowing ranges of values to be entered. The procedure uses fuzzy distance measures to rank the different management options based on the output data. The technique is flexible because the preferences of the decision maker can be incorporated into the analysis.

Subject Headings: Nitrates | Fuzzy logic | Benefit cost ratios | Water treatment | Uncertainty principles | Salt water | Recycling | Nebraska | United States

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