Minimizing the impacts of contaminant intrusion in small water distribution networks through booster chlorination optimization

  • Nilufar Islam
  • Manuel J. Rodriguez
  • Ashraf Farahat
  • Rehan Sadiq
Original Paper


Contaminant intrusion in a water distribution network (DN) has three basic pre-conditions: source of contaminant (e.g., leaky sewer), a pathway (e.g., water main leaks), and a driving force (e.g., negative pressure). The impact of intrusion can be catastrophic if residual disinfectant (chlorine) is not present. To avoid microbiological water quality failure, higher levels of secondary chlorination doses can be a possible solution, but they can produce disinfectant by-products which lead to taste and odour complaints. This study presents a methodology to identify potential intrusion points in a DN and optimize booster chlorination based on trade-offs among microbiological risk, chemical risk and life-cycle cost for booster chlorination. A point-scoring scheme was developed to identify the potential intrusion points within a DN. It utilized factors such as pollutant source (e.g., sewer characteristics), pollution pathway (water main diameter, length, age, and surrounding soil properties, etc.), consequence of contamination (e.g., population, and land use), and operational factors (e.g., water pressure) integrated through a geographical information system using advanced ArcMap 10 operations. The contaminant intrusion was modelled for E. Coli O156: H7 (a microbiological indicator) using the EPANET-MSX programmer’s toolkit. The quantitative microbial risk assessment and chemical (human health) risk assessment frameworks were adapted to estimate risk potentials. Booster chlorination locations and dosages were selected using a multi-objective genetic algorithm. The methodology was illustrated through a case study on a portion of a municipal DN.


Contaminant intrusion Water distribution network Optimization Booster chlorination Disinfectant by-products Life-cycle cost Quantitative microbial risk assessment 





Asbestos cement


Analytic hierarchy process


Bromide incorporation factor




Comprehensive development










Cast iron


Cast Iron Pipe Research Association






Chemical risk potential


Dissemination area


Disinfectant by-products


Driving force index


Ductile iron


Ductile Iron Pipe Research Association


Distribution network


Free residual chlorine


Genetic algorithm


Geographical information system


Ground water table


Haloacetic acids


Health District


High density polyethylene




Integrated risk information system


Intrusion risk potential


Life-cycle cost


Long term enhanced surface water treatment rule


Land use consequence index


Land use weight


Multi objective genetic algorithm


Microbial risk potential


Public and Institutional


Population density


Population density consequence index


Pollution source index


Poly vinyl chloride


Quantitative microbial risk assessment


Reference dose


Rural residential


Urban residential


Soil corrosivity index


Soil corrosivity index for cementitious pipes


Soil corrosivity index for metallic pipes


Soil corrosivity index for plastic pipes


Slope factor


Structural failure index




Surface water treatment rule


Total trihalomethane


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nilufar Islam
    • 1
  • Manuel J. Rodriguez
    • 2
  • Ashraf Farahat
    • 3
    • 4
  • Rehan Sadiq
    • 1
  1. 1.School of EngineeringUniversity of British Columbia (Okanagan Campus)KelownaCanada
  2. 2.École supérieure d’aménagement du territoire et développement régionalUniversité LavalQuebecCanada
  3. 3.College of Applied and Supporting StudiesKing Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM)DhahranSaudi Arabia
  4. 4.Department of Physics, Faculty of ScienceAlexandria UniversityAlexandriaEgypt

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