Stochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment

, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 169–183

Numerical approach to Cryptosporidium risk assessment using reliability method

  • Yeonjeong Park
  • Lilit Yeghiazarian
  • Jery R. Stedinger
  • Carlo D. Montemagno
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s00477-007-0105-6

Cite this article as:
Park, Y., Yeghiazarian, L., Stedinger, J.R. et al. Stoch Environ Res Risk Assess (2008) 22: 169. doi:10.1007/s00477-007-0105-6


A previously developed Cryptosporidium transport model is solved numerically to investigate the transport and interactions between Cryptosporidium, water and surface sediment and to estimate the risk of surface water contamination by Cryptosporidium. The primary objective of this study is to expand the work of Yeghiazarian (Ph.D. dissertation, Cornell University 2001)where the analytical solution of the Cryptosporidium transport model was obtained for a simple case of specific attachment of Cryptosporidium oocysts to fine soil particles wherein some parameters have zero values. However, some studies have shown several cases where these parameters are not zero. This necessitated further study to generate a solution to the complete Cryptosporidium transport model. Utilizing the finite difference method, the Cryptosporidium transport model is solved numerically for the general case of a system with any parameter values. Previously, first- and second-order reliability methods (FORM and SORM) were employed for risk assessment using analytical transport results (Yeghiazarian, Ph.D. dissertation, Cornell University, 2001), but in this work, FORM and SORM are applied to the numerical solution of the Cryptosporidium transport model to estimate the risk of Cryptosporidium contamination in surface water. The risk of surface water contamination is estimated by the probability that the Cryptosporidium concentration in surface water at a given time and location exceeds a safety threshold. The numerical solution is interfaced with the general-purpose reliability code, CALREL, to estimate the probability of failure on one hillslope. The sensitivity of system reliability to process parameters is reported.


Cryptosporidium transport modelRisk assessmentSurface water contaminationReliability methodCALREL

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yeonjeong Park
    • 1
  • Lilit Yeghiazarian
    • 2
  • Jery R. Stedinger
    • 3
  • Carlo D. Montemagno
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Department of BioengineeringUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  3. 3.School of Civil and Environmental EngineeringCornell UniversityIthacaUSA
  4. 4.Dean of Engineering, University of CincinnatiCincinnatiUSA