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Water Quality Failures in Distribution Networks—Risk Analysis Using Fuzzy Logic and Evidential Reasoning

Water Quality Failures in Distribution Networks—Risk Analysis Using Fuzzy Logic and Evidential Reasoning

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Risk Analysis, Vol. 27, No. 5, 2007 
DOI: 10.1111/j.1539-6924.2007.00972.x
Water Quality Failures in Distribution Networks—RiskAnalysis Using Fuzzy Logic and Evidential Reasoning
Rehan Sadiq,
Yehuda Kleiner,
and Balvant Rajani
The evaluation of the risk of water quality failures in a distribution network is a challengingtask given that much of the available data are highly uncertain and vague, and many of themechanisms are not fully understood. Consequently, a systematic approach is required tohandle quantitative-qualitative data as well as a means to update existing information whennew knowledge and data become available. Five general pathways (mechanisms) throughwhich a water quality failure can occur in the distribution network are identified in this article.Theseincludecontaminantintrusion,leachingandcorrosion,biofilmformationandmicrobialregrowth, permeation, and water treatment breakthrough (including disinfection byproductsformation). The proposed methodology is demonstrated using a simplified example for waterquality failures in a distribution network. This article builds upon the previous developmentsof aggregative risk analysis approach. Each basic risk item in a hierarchical framework isexpressedbyatriangularfuzzynumber,whichisderivedfromthecompositionofthe
of a failure event and the associated failure
. An analytic hierarchy process isused to estimate weights required for grouping noncommensurate risk sources. The evidentialreasoning is proposed to incorporate newly arrived data for the updating of existing riskestimates. The exponential ordered weighted averaging operators are used for defuzzificationto incorporate attitudinal dimension for risk management. It is envisaged that the proposedapproach could serve as a basis to benchmark acceptable risks in water distribution networks.
Analytic hierarchy process; distribution networks; evidential reasoning; exponential or-dered weighted average operators; fuzzy logic; water quality
Safetyofdrinkingwaterisahighpriorityofwaterpurveyors and stakeholders (owners and customers).A typical modern water supply system comprises thewatersource(groundwaterorsurfacewater,includingthe catchment basin), transmission mains, treatmentplants, and a distribution network, which includes
Buried Utilities Research, Urban Infrastructure Program, In-stitute for Research in Construction (IRC), National ResearchCouncil of Canada (NRC), Ottawa, ON, Canada.
Address correspondence to Rehan Sadiq, Buried Utilities Re-search, Urban Infrastructure Program, Institute for Researchin Construction (IRC), National Research Council of Canada(NRC), Ottawa, ON, Canada K1A 0R6; rehan.sadiq@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca.
pipes and distribution tanks. While water quality canbe compromised at any component, failure at the dis-tribution level can be extremely critical because it isclosesttothepointofdeliveryand,withtheexceptionof a rare filtering device at the consumer level, thereare virtually no safety barriers before consumption.
1.1. Water Quality Failures
Water quality is generally defined by a collectionof upper and lower limits on selected indicators (con-taminants) in the water (Maier, 1999), which can beclassifiedintothreebroadcategories:physical,chemi-cal,andbiologicalcontaminants.Theupperandlowerlimits are often governed by regulations (Swamee &
2007 Society for Risk Analysis
1382 Sadiq, Kleiner, and Rajani
Fig. 1.
Pathways for water quality failures in water distributionnetworks.
Tyagi, 2000). A water distribution network acts as acomplex reactor in which various processes occur si-multaneously. The water quality in the distributionnetwork,whichisanoutcomeoftheseprocesses,con-tinuously changes both temporally and spatially. Awater quality failure event is often de
ned as an ex-ceedanceofoneormorewaterqualityindicatorsfromspeci
c regulations, or in the absence of regulations,exceedance of guidelines or self-imposed, customer-driven limits. Water quality failures in distributionnetworks can generally be classi
ed into the follow-ingmajorcategoriesorpathways(Kleiner,1998),alsodescribed in Fig. 1:
Contaminant intrusion into the distributionnetwork through system components,
lm formation and regrowth of microor-ganisms in a distribution network,
Water treatment breakthrough of bacteriaand/or chemicals, formation of disinfectionbyproducts (DBPs),
Leaching of chemicals, release of corrosionbyproducts, and
Permeation of organic compounds from thesoil through system components.An intrusion of contaminants into the water dis-tribution network can occur through storage tanks(animals, dust-carrying bacteria, in
ltration) andpipes. Intrusion through water mains may occur dur-ing or after maintenance and repair events, throughbroken or corroded (pinholes or cracks) pipes and joints/gaskets, and through cross-connections (Kir-meyer
et al 
., 2001). Whenever the water pressure in apipe is very low or negative, the risk of contaminationthrough back
ow or through leaky pipes increases.This can happen when the pipe is de-pressurized forrepairorduringtransientpressures(e.g.,whenthehy-drant is used for
re extinguishing or water hammerevents).Bio
lmisadepositconsistingofmicroorganisms,microbialproducts,anddetritusatthesurfaceofpipesortanks.Biologicalregrowthmayoccurwheninjuredbacteria enter from the treatment plant into the dis-tribution network. Under favorable conditions, suchas nutrient supply (e.g., organic carbon) in the wa-ter and long residence time, these bacteria can at-tach themselves to surfaces, rejuvenate, and grow instorage tanks and on rough inner surfaces of watermains. The regrowth of microorganisms in the distri-bution network results in an increased chlorine de-mand, which has two adverse effects: (a) a reductionin the level of free available chlorine may hinder thenetwork
s ability to contend with local occurrences of contamination (US EPA, 1999), and (b) an increasedlevel of disinfection to satisfy the chlorine demand of bio
lm may result in higher concentrations of disin-fection byproducts (DBPs).Internal corrosion of metallic pipes and plumb-ing devices may increase the concentration of metalcompounds in the water. Different metals go throughdifferent corrosion processes, but in general low pHwater, high dissolved oxygen, high temperature, andhighlevelsofdissolvedsolidsincreasecorrosionrates.Metals such as lead and cadmium may leach intothe water from pipes, causing signi
cant health ef-fects. Secondary metals such as copper (from homeplumbing), iron (distribution pipes), and zinc (galva-nized pipes) may leach into water causing taste, odor,and color (red or rusty water) problems in additionto some minor health-related risks (Kleiner, 1998).Leaching of chemicals into the water supply can of-tencomefromtheinternalliningandcoatingofpipes(e.g., volatile organic compounds), causing physico-chemicalwaterqualityfailurewithadversehealthandaesthetic consequences.Permeation is a phenomenon in which contami-nants(notablyhydrocarbons)fromapollutedsitemi-grate through the walls of plastic pipes. Three stagesare observed in permeation: (a) organic chemicalspresent in the soil partition between the soil and theplastic wall, (b) the chemicals defuse through thepipe wall, and (c) the chemicals partition betweenthe pipe wall and the water inside the pipe (Kleiner,1998). In general, the risk of contamination throughpermeation is relatively small as compared to othermechanisms.
1.2. Risk Analysis Techniques
referstothejointprobabilitiesof an occurrence of an event and its consequences
Water Quality Failures in Distribution Networks 1383
risk analysis
refers to a process of an estima-tion of the frequency and physical consequences of undesirable events (Ricci
et al.
, 1981). Risk analysismayincludearangeoftechniquesfromasimplequal-itative analysis (e.g., preliminary hazard analysis) tovery complex quantitative techniques (e.g., Bayesiannetworks) for dynamic systems. A brief discussion onsomeoftheriskanalysistechniquesisprovidedinthissection.Preliminary hazard analysis (PHA) is a qualita-tive technique for conducting hazard assessment inchemical process industries. The PHA can identifysystems/processes that require further examinationto control major hazards (Fullwood & Hall, 1988).Hazard and operability study (HAZOP) is a tech-nique also commonly employed in chemical processindustries for estimating safety risk and operabilityimprovements (Sutton, 1992). Failure mode and ef-fects analysis (FMEA) is commonly used in reliabil-ity engineering to analyze potential failure modes ina system and rank them according to their severity.When the FMEA is extended to criticality analysis,the technique is called failure mode and effects criti-cality analysis (FMECA) (Chakib
et al 
., 1992).Tree-based (hierarchical) techniques are alsowidely used to perform risk analysis. A fault tree is alogical diagram that shows the relation between sys-tem failure, i.e., a speci
c undesirable event in thesystem, and failures of the components of the system(Vincoli, 1994). Event tree analysis (ETA) is a tech-nique to illustrate the sequence of outcomes that mayarise after the occurrence of a selected initial event(Suokas & Rouhiainen, 1993). Cause-consequenceanalysis (CCA) combines cause analysis (describedby fault trees) and consequence analysis (describedby event trees).Techniques for the analysis of dynamic systemscan involve methods such as digraph/fault graph, dy-namic ETA, Bayesian networks, or fuzzy cognitivemaps. The digraph/fault graph technique uses themathematics and language of graph theory, whichconstructs the risk model by replacing system ele-ments with AND and OR gates. Bayesian networks(BN) are directed acyclic graphs, in which nodes rep-resent variables and directed arcs describe the condi-tional dependence relations embedded in the model.Though the conditional probabilities are often dif-
cult to obtain, BNs are considered as one of themost popular dynamic modeling tools (Pearl, 1988).A fuzzy cognitive map (FCM) is an illustrative rep-resentation of the complex system that uses cause-effect relationships to perform risk analysis (Kosko,1986). Recently, MacGillivray
et al.
(2006) providedan excellent review of some of these risk analysis anddecision-making strategies. This review critically an-alyzes and reports a wide range of research studiesthat use the above risk analysis techniques, primarilyfocusing on drinking water supply systems.The quanti
cation of the risk of contaminationin water distribution networks is a dif 
cult task.Water distribution networks comprise many (some-times thousands of) kilometers of pipes of differentages and various materials, which are subjected tovaryingoperationalandenvironmentalconditions.Inaddition, limited performance and deterioration dataareavailablesincepipesareburiedstructures.Finally,some of the failure processes are not well understoodand the diagnosis of contamination is very dif 
cultbecause there is generally a time lag between the oc-currence of failure and the time at which the conse-quences (e.g., outbreaks) are observed.Both set theory and probability theory are theclassical mathematical frameworks for characterizinguncertainties. Since the 1960s, a number of general-izations of these frameworks have been developed toformalize different types of uncertainties. Klir (1999)reported that well-justi
ed measures of uncertaintiesare available not only in the classical set theory andprobability theory, but also in the fuzzy set theory(Zadeh, 1965), possibility theory (Dubois & Parade,1988),andtheDempster-Shafer(D-S)theory(Demp-ster, 1968; Shafer, 1976). Klir (1995) proposed a com-prehensive general information theory (GIT) to en-capsulate these concepts into a single framework andestablished links among them.Sadiq
et al 
. (2004) developed a hierarchical (ortree-based)structurethatbrokedowntheoverallriskofwaterqualityfailuresinadistributionnetworkintobasic risk items. Risk was characterized qualitatively(or linguistically) based on fuzzy techniques com-bined with an analytic hierarchy process (AHP). Thisarticlebuildsuponthepreviousdevelopmentsandad-dresses four important aspects of the aggregative riskanalysis in distribution networks. These aspects are:(a) risk fuzzi
mapping of triangular fuzzynumbers of basic risk items to 5-tuple fuzzy risk set,(b) risk aggregation
aggregating fuzzy risk for hi-erarchical structure, (c) risk updating
using eviden-tial reasoning to fuse newly arrived data (or belief)with existing knowledge, and updating risk estimatesat any level in the hierarchical structure, and (d) us-ing exponential ordered weighted average (E-OWA)operators for defuzzi
cation to consider the deci-sionmaker
s attitude toward risk (level of optimism)

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