Development of a knowledge-based

decision support system for identifying
adequate wastewater treatment for small
communities
J. Comas, J. Alemany
& M. Poch
A. Torrens & M. Salgot
J. Bou

Chemical and Environmental
Engineering Laboratory
Universitat de Girona
Laboratori d’Edafologia
Universitat de Barcelona

Agència Catalana de l’Aigua

Mesa Española Tratamiento de Aguas (META)
Sitges, febrero 2004

EDSS development: Problem analysis

• 3,482 agglomerations
• 800 municipalities
• about 400,000 i.e.

Mesa Española Tratamiento de Aguas (META)
Sitges, febrero 2004

Introduction
9 At the beginning 2001, Catalonia was planning to
implement the Small communities wastewater treatment Plan
9 Directive 91/271
• For communities < 2000 i-e
defines “adequate treatment”

Mesa Española Tratamiento de Aguas (META)
Sitges, febrero 2004

Introduction 9 At the beginning 2001. febrero 2004 . Catalonia was planning to implement the Small communities wastewater treatment Plan 9 Directive 91/271 • For communities < 2000 i-e defines “adequate treatment” 9 recently…WFD 2000/60 …introduces fuzzy concepts like “ecological state” “admissible impact” Mesa Española Tratamiento de Aguas (META) Sitges.

0 10. febrero 2004 >1000 .2 % industrial WW 60.0 0-300 301-700 701-1000 Altitude above the sea level (m.8 7.EDSS development: Problem analysis Rank of population < 20 20 – 50 51 – 200 201 – 1000 1001 – 2000 Percentage (%) 46.0 40.0 30.7 • 45.6 7.) Mesa Española Tratamiento de Aguas (META) Sitges.6 18.1% seasonal • 27.0 20.4 19.0 Percentage 50.0 0.

2000 m > 2000 m . febrero 2004 40 60 Kilometers Límit de conca Objectius de qualitat físico-química Rius no contemplats Qualitat bona Qualitat molt bona Hipsometria < 200 m 200 .1400 m 1401 .800 m 801 .EDSS development: Quality Objectives N 20 0 20 Mesa Española Tratamiento de Aguas (META) Sitges.

febrero 2004 “reasonable” proposals EDSS .Introduction In this context… …new tools appear that allow to integrate knowledge from a panel of experts Data from: • communities • environment • wastewater treatment Mesa Española Tratamiento de Aguas (META) Sitges.

Introduction EDSS “intelligent information systems that reduce the time in which decisions are made as well as improves the consistency and quality of those decisions” Mesa Española Tratamiento de Aguas (META) Sitges. febrero 2004 .

Introduction EDSS “intelligent information systems that reduce the time in which decisions are made as well as improves the consistency and quality of those decisions” different tools integrated in a multi-layered architecture Mesa Española Tratamiento de Aguas (META) Sitges. febrero 2004 .

g.EDSS development: Collecting data and knowledge acquisition Knowledge sources consulted and knowledge bases formed during the knowledge acquisition phase Interviews with Experts / Knowledge Data from the survey Receiving media data / sources to the communities / Experts Literature review / visits Applicable legislation / Experts Knowledge bases Characteristics of the small communities Different alternatives of wastewater treatment Ecological state of the receiving environment KNOWLEDGE-BASED DECISION SUPPORT SYSTEM USER Decision making assessment in the most adequate alternative of treatment Mesa Española Tratamiento de Aguas (META) Sitges. economical costs vs. environmental costs) . febrero 2004 Proposal of different alternatives (e.

febrero 2004 .EDSS development: Collecting data and knowledge acquisition 9 Data survey Mesa Española Tratamiento de Aguas (META) Sitges.

febrero 2004 .EDSS development: Collecting data and knowledge acquisition • Septinc tanks • settling-digestion tanks / Imhoff tanks • primary settlers Conventional Systems Extended aeration (AS) Tricking filter Rotating Biological Contactor Sequencing Batch Reactor Natural Systems Aquatic-based Land-based Waste stabilisation ponds Intermittent sand filter High-rate pond Buried sand filter Constructed wetland Plant soil treatment Mesa Española Tratamiento de Aguas (META) Sitges.

disadvantaging & discarded) • equations (costs) ... Mesa Española Tratamiento de Aguas (META) Sitges.EDSS development: Knowledge implementation 9 Synthesis of the acquired knowledge in different ways of representation: • decision trees • heuristic rules (IF < conditions > THEN < conclusions >) for any nucli N upon nucli-actual whenever the temp-mitjana of N receives a value and when the hab-equiv of N > 200 and the hab-equiv of N <= 1000 and the nivell-tract of N = the symbol se then invoke regles200-1000-se rules • matrices (favoured. febrero 2004 ...implemented as.

. ……….e > 300 h.e Habitants equivalents no PEIN ni AQ ni V-NO3 aigües avall embassaments ? no si no V-NO3- tract. secundari Mesa Española Tratamiento de Aguas (META) Sitges. si aigües amunt embassaments a partir de Camprodon ? tract...….e..……. primari reducció NO3- Branch of a larger Riu Ter tree decision si no abocament al Ges....….e aigües amunt embassaments abans Camprodon ? (en Ter i afluents) si tract... Sorreig.. Martí? nucli dins PEIN. secundari no no . ni AQ ni V-NO3 aigües amunt embassaments ? no > 1000 h.EDSS development: Knowledge implementation < 200 h.. febrero 2004 si si . ? reducció N i P reducció N i P si no PEIN... primari si no < 500 h. Gurri o riera de St.. AQ o I-NH4+ no eliminació NH4+ Tract.e > 500 h.

Aboc zero poca FS ò IMH BD ò FP Aboc Puntual mitjana FS ò IMH WT ò BD ò FP Aboc Puntual molta FS ò IMH FS ò IMH WT ò BD ò FP FV ò FIS Aboc Puntual Aboc zero Mesa Española Tratamiento de Aguas (META) Sitges. distribuït ò FIS FS ò IMH Aboc Puntual molta 50-200 Tractament proposat Tractament Tractament principal d'afinament gens poca molta poca FS ò IMH BD ò FP Aboc Distribuït mitjana FS ò IMH WT ò BD ò FP Aboc Distribuït ò FIS molta FS ò IMH FS ò IMH WT ò BD ò FP FV ò FIS IT ò FV Aboc zero poca FS ò IMH BD ò FP Aboc Distribuït mitjana FS ò IMH WT ò BD ò FP Aboc Distr. distribuït ò FIS ò IT poca poca o mitjana molta FS ò IMH Aboc. molta FS ò IMH FS ò IMH WT ò BD ò FP FV ò FIS Aboc Distr. febrero 2004 .EDSS development: Knowledge implementation Habitants equivalents Nivell de Tractament Capacitat del medi receptor Superfície disponible Primari 50-200 PR SE Abocament gens poca o mitjana molta FS ò IMH Aboc. distribuït ò FIS Aboc.

Si previsió Abocaments Industrials BD X X Si Aqüífers <1. 2010Tratamiento < 700 Mesa Española de Aguas (META) Sitges. 2010 < 100 Si hab.5 m. Si dist. 2010 >= 700 Si hab. última casa > 150 m.equ.equ. Si hab.gener <= 12ºC Si nucli en franja costanera X* X* X* X* X Si estacionalitat (h.equ. febrero 2004 ! X X ! X X X ! X ! √ ! √ ! . 2010 >= 1300 Si hab.equ.equ. última casa <= 150 m.fixe > 1) Si T mitjana mes gener <= 5ºC FA SBR FP FiS IT ! Si alçada sobre nivell mar >= 750 m./h.EDSS development: Knowledge implementation WT LLAC LAR LA IP Si Nucli en Aqüífers i Vulnerable-NO3 ! Si alçada sobre nivell mar >= 500 m. ! ! ! ! ! ! X √ X X √ X ! X ! Si pendent parcel·la > 5% X X √ √ √ √ ! ! Si T mitj.e. Si alçada sobre nivell mar >= 675 m. i < 200 m. i pous de captació Si glaçades durant >= 10 dies FV √ X √ X √ X X X Si pendent parcel·la >= 12% Si dist.e.estac. 2010 < 250 Si hab.

EDSS development: Knowledge implementation 9 allow economic evaluations of investment and operational costs mathematical functions Wetland operational costs 180000 4500 160000 4000 140000 3500 120000 3000 PTA/hab.equ.eq. febrero 2004 0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 Habitants equivalents 1400 1600 1800 2000 . PTA/hab. RBC investment costs 100000 80000 60000 2500 2000 1500 40000 1000 20000 500 0 0 0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000 8000 9000 10000 habitants equivalents Mesa Española Tratamiento de Aguas (META) Sitges.

febrero 2004 . selection of the most appropiate specific type of treatment linked to 9 a cost estimation model 9 geographical information (GIS) 9 database connectivity and menu-based enduser interface Mesa Española Tratamiento de Aguas (META) Sitges.first one.EDSS development: Knowledge implementation …a KB-EDSS composed by: 9 a Knowledge-Based System in two steps: .second one. selection of the treatment level .

Sorreig..e.e Habitants equivalents > 300 h... secundari no no .. ? Nivell de Tractament Primari 50-200 si reducció N i P si Habitants equivalents si tract. AQ o I-NH4+ Capacitat del medi receptor Superfície disponible gens poca o mitjana molta poca poca o mitjana molta molta 50-200 reducció N i P no PEIN ni AQ ni V-NO3 aigües avall embassaments ? PR tract. Gurri o riera de St.e aigües amunt embassaments abans Camprodon ? (en Ter i afluents) si aigües amunt embassaments a partir de Camprodon ? no si no V-NO3- tract.. si no PEIN.…..……. explanation and evaluation of the alternatives for the adequate treatment < 200 h. febrero 2004 . distribuït ò FIS ò IT FS ò IMH Aboc.. ………. Aboc zero poca FS ò IMH BD ò FP Aboc Puntual mitjana FS ò IMH WT ò BD ò FP Aboc Puntual molta FS ò IMH FS ò IMH WT ò BD ò FP FV ò FIS Aboc Puntual Aboc zero DATA GATHERING Tract.. ni AQ ni V-NO3 aigües amunt embassaments ? no > 1000 h.. distribuït ò FIS Aboc Puntual FS ò IMH poca FS ò IMH BD ò FP Aboc Distribuït mitjana FS ò IMH WT ò BD ò FP Aboc Distribuït ò FIS molta FS ò IMH FS ò IMH WT ò BD ò FP FV ò FIS IT ò FV Aboc zero poca FS ò IMH BD ò FP Aboc Distribuït mitjana FS ò IMH WT ò BD ò FP Aboc Distr. Martí? no eliminació NH4+ Tractament proposat Tractament Tractament principal d'afinament Abocament FS ò IMH Aboc.DECISION SUPPORT EDSS application: A real Case Study USER Economic & Environmental constraints • Operating costs • Impact to the media • Detriment of water User interface Identification.. primari reducció NO3- no nucli dins PEIN. distribuït ò FIS Aboc..e > 500 h.e DIAGNOSIS Other environmental constraints for certain treatments • geographical data • climatic data • stationality ADEQUATE TREATMENT Level of teatment SE gens poca si molta si Riu Ter abocament al Ges.…... secundari Knowledge Base for the receiving media Knowledge Base for the different wastewater treatments Features of the small communities Mesa Española Tratamiento de Aguas (META) Sitges. primari no < 500 h.. molta FS ò IMH FS ò IMH WT ò BD ò FP FV ò FIS Aboc Distr.

) 84 Average T in colder months (ºC) 6 Length of sewers (m.) 0 Type of industry - Mesa Española Tratamiento de Aguas (META) Sitges.) 700 Industry (% i.EDSS application: A real Case Study 9 Main characteristics of a real case study solved by the KB-DSS (community named Malavella Parc) Characteristics of the small community Catchment La Tordera Region La Selva Inhabitant equivalents 2010 389 Seasonal inhabitants 313 Level of treatment C removal Altitude (m.) 180 . febrero 2004 Charact. of wells 2 Protected zone No Charact.e. of the site to build the WWTP Surface available Large Average slope (%) 0 Distance to the community (m. of the receiving environment Abundance of water Nothing Natural pools No Nitrate polluted zone No Aquifers Yes No.

molta FS ò IMH FS ò IMH WT ò BD ò FP FV ò FIS Aboc Distr. secundari Knowledge Base for the receiving media Knowledge Base for the different wastewater treatments Features of the small communities Mesa Española Tratamiento de Aguas (META) Sitges...e aigües amunt embassaments abans Camprodon ? (en Ter i afluents) si aigües amunt embassaments a partir de Camprodon ? no si no V-NO3- tract.... si no PEIN. ? Nivell de Tractament Primari 50-200 si reducció N i P si Habitants equivalents si tract. distribuït ò FIS FS ò IMH Aboc Puntual poca FS ò IMH BD ò FP Aboc Distribuït mitjana FS ò IMH WT ò BD ò FP Aboc Distribuït ò FIS molta FS ò IMH FS ò IMH WT ò BD ò FP FV ò FIS IT ò FV Aboc zero poca FS ò IMH BD ò FP Aboc Distribuït mitjana FS ò IMH WT ò BD ò FP Aboc Distr..….e > 500 h. distribuït ò FIS ò IT FS ò IMH Aboc.e Habitants equivalents > 300 h.. primari reducció NO3- no nucli dins PEIN. Martí? no eliminació NH4+ Tractament proposat Tractament Tractament principal d'afinament Abocament FS ò IMH Aboc.. Gurri o riera de St.…...e.. ni AQ ni V-NO3 aigües amunt embassaments ? no > 1000 h.. ………. AQ o I-NH4+ Capacitat del medi receptor Superfície disponible gens poca o mitjana molta poca poca o mitjana molta molta 50-200 reducció N i P no PEIN ni AQ ni V-NO3 aigües avall embassaments ? PR tract..e DIAGNOSIS Other environmental constraints for certain treatments • geographical data • climatic data • stationality ADEQUATE TREATMENT Level of teatment SE gens poca si molta si Riu Ter abocament al Ges.……. secundari no no . primari no < 500 h.. Aboc zero poca FS ò IMH BD ò FP Aboc Puntual mitjana FS ò IMH WT ò BD ò FP Aboc Puntual molta FS ò IMH FS ò IMH WT ò BD ò FP FV ò FIS Aboc Puntual Aboc zero DATA GATHERING Tract. febrero 2004 . Sorreig.DECISION SUPPORT EDSS application: A real Case Study USER Economic & Environmental constraints • Operating costs • Impact to the media • Detriment of water User interface Identification. explanation and evaluation of the alternatives for the adequate treatment < 200 h. distribuït ò FIS Aboc.

EDSS application: A real Case Study 9 List of possible alternatives primary1 Imhoff Imhoff Imhoff main treatment stabilisation ponds constructed wetland RBC2 SBR2 extended aeration2 tricking filter2 Mesa Española Tratamiento de Aguas (META) Sitges. febrero 2004 effluent discharge punctual punctual distributed distributed distributed distributed .

….e > 500 h. primari reducció NO3- no nucli dins PEIN. Gurri o riera de St. Martí? no eliminació NH4+ Tractament proposat Tractament Tractament principal d'afinament Abocament FS ò IMH Aboc... Aboc zero poca FS ò IMH BD ò FP Aboc Puntual mitjana FS ò IMH WT ò BD ò FP Aboc Puntual molta FS ò IMH FS ò IMH WT ò BD ò FP FV ò FIS Aboc Puntual Aboc zero DATA GATHERING Tract..e DIAGNOSIS Other environmental constraints for certain treatments • geographical data • climatic data • stationality ADEQUATE TREATMENT Level of teatment SE gens poca si molta si Riu Ter abocament al Ges. distribuït ò FIS Aboc.e Habitants equivalents > 300 h. primari no < 500 h.... ………... secundari Knowledge Base for the receiving media Knowledge Base for the different wastewater treatments Features of the small communities Mesa Española Tratamiento de Aguas (META) Sitges.e aigües amunt embassaments abans Camprodon ? (en Ter i afluents) si aigües amunt embassaments a partir de Camprodon ? no si no V-NO3- tract. secundari no no . Sorreig.…….. si no PEIN.. molta FS ò IMH FS ò IMH WT ò BD ò FP FV ò FIS Aboc Distr. AQ o I-NH4+ Capacitat del medi receptor Superfície disponible gens poca o mitjana molta poca poca o mitjana molta molta 50-200 reducció N i P no PEIN ni AQ ni V-NO3 aigües avall embassaments ? PR tract.e.…. febrero 2004 . distribuït ò FIS ò IT FS ò IMH Aboc. distribuït ò FIS FS ò IMH Aboc Puntual poca FS ò IMH BD ò FP Aboc Distribuït mitjana FS ò IMH WT ò BD ò FP Aboc Distribuït ò FIS molta FS ò IMH FS ò IMH WT ò BD ò FP FV ò FIS IT ò FV Aboc zero poca FS ò IMH BD ò FP Aboc Distribuït mitjana FS ò IMH WT ò BD ò FP Aboc Distr. ni AQ ni V-NO3 aigües amunt embassaments ? no > 1000 h. ? Nivell de Tractament Primari 50-200 si reducció N i P si Habitants equivalents si tract.... explanation and evaluation of the alternatives for the adequate treatment < 200 h..DECISION SUPPORT EDSS application: A real Case Study USER Economic & Environmental constraints • Operating costs • Impact to the media • Detriment of water User interface Identification.

disadvantaging and discarding reasons 1 primary Imhoff Imhoff Imhoff punctual number of favouring reasons 2 number of disadvantaging reasons 1 number of discarding reasons 0 punctual 1 0 0 distributed distributed distributed 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 distributed 0 0 0 main treatment effluent discharge stabilisation ponds constructed wetland RBC2 SBR2 extended aeration2 tricking filter2 Mesa Española Tratamiento de Aguas (META) Sitges. febrero 2004 .EDSS application: A real Case Study 9 List of possible alternatives with favouring.

118)” “this community belongs to a region with suitable climatic conditions for optimal performance of ponds ” Mesa Española Tratamiento de Aguas (META) Sitges. disadvantaging and discarding reasons 1 primary Imhoff Imhoff Imhoff punctual number of favouring reasons 2 number of disadvantaging reasons 1 number of discarding reasons 0 punctual 1 0 0 distributed distributed distributed 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 distributed 0 0 0 main treatment effluent discharge stabilisation ponds constructed wetland RBC2 SBR2 extended aeration2 tricking filter2 “this community presents an important contribution of the seasonal population (seasonal population/permanent population = 4. febrero 2004 .EDSS application: A real Case Study 9 List of possible alternatives with favouring.

primari no < 500 h. si no PEIN.. secundari no no .e aigües amunt embassaments abans Camprodon ? (en Ter i afluents) si aigües amunt embassaments a partir de Camprodon ? no si no V-NO3- tract.. distribuït ò FIS ò IT FS ò IMH Aboc. primari reducció NO3- no nucli dins PEIN. secundari Knowledge Base for the receiving media Knowledge Base for the different wastewater treatments Features of the small communities Mesa Española Tratamiento de Aguas (META) Sitges.DECISION SUPPORT EDSS application: A real Case Study USER Economic & Environmental constraints • Operating costs • Impact to the media • Detriment of water User interface Identification.……...e > 500 h. ……….. febrero 2004 . ni AQ ni V-NO3 aigües amunt embassaments ? no > 1000 h. Martí? no eliminació NH4+ Tractament proposat Tractament Tractament principal d'afinament Abocament FS ò IMH Aboc.….. distribuït ò FIS Aboc Puntual FS ò IMH poca FS ò IMH BD ò FP Aboc Distribuït mitjana FS ò IMH WT ò BD ò FP Aboc Distribuït ò FIS molta FS ò IMH FS ò IMH WT ò BD ò FP FV ò FIS IT ò FV Aboc zero poca FS ò IMH BD ò FP Aboc Distribuït mitjana FS ò IMH WT ò BD ò FP Aboc Distr. distribuït ò FIS Aboc. ? Nivell de Tractament Primari 50-200 si reducció N i P si Habitants equivalents si tract. Aboc zero poca FS ò IMH BD ò FP Aboc Puntual mitjana FS ò IMH WT ò BD ò FP Aboc Puntual molta FS ò IMH FS ò IMH WT ò BD ò FP FV ò FIS Aboc Puntual Aboc zero DATA GATHERING Tract... molta FS ò IMH FS ò IMH WT ò BD ò FP FV ò FIS Aboc Distr. Gurri o riera de St...e Habitants equivalents > 300 h. Sorreig. AQ o I-NH4+ Capacitat del medi receptor Superfície disponible gens poca o mitjana molta poca poca o mitjana molta molta 50-200 reducció N i P no PEIN ni AQ ni V-NO3 aigües avall embassaments ? PR tract. explanation and evaluation of the alternatives for the adequate treatment < 200 h....e DIAGNOSIS Other environmental constraints for certain treatments • geographical data • climatic data • stationality ADEQUATE TREATMENT Level of teatment SE gens poca si molta si Riu Ter abocament al Ges..….e.

900 380.700 7.710 distributed 0 0 0 347.800 operational cost (€. disadvantaging and discarding reasons and economic calculations 1 primary Imhoff Imhoff Imhoff main treatment effluent discharge number of favouring reasons number of disadvantaging reasons number of discarding reasons investment cost (€) stabilisation ponds constructed wetland RBC2 SBR2 extended aeration2 tricking filter2 punctual 2 1 0 236. first year) 3.900 6. febrero 2004 .218 Mesa Española Tratamiento de Aguas (META) Sitges.EDSS application: A real Case Study 9 List of possible alternatives with favouring.894 8.631 distributed distributed distributed 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 398.915 punctual 1 0 0 301.200 5.000 380.710 8.

EDSS application: A real Case Study 5th Specialist Conference on Small Water and Wastewater Treatment Systems 24-26 September 2002. Istanbul . Turkey.

EDSS application Applied to 3.482 small communities grouped in 20 river catchments Garona Noguera Ribagorçana Noguera Pallaresa Muga Fluvià Ter Rieres Costa Brava Segre El Llobregat Foix Francolí Ebre La Sènia Tordera Besòs El Gaià Rieres Bisbal Meridionals Mesa Española Tratamiento de Aguas (META) Sitges. febrero 2004 Garraf Rieres Maresme .

febrero 2004 .Conclusions • Selection of WWT for small communities involve not just aspects of technical optimisation. Mesa Española Tratamiento de Aguas (META) Sitges. economic and social factors 9 characteristics of the community 9 the receiving environment 9 the available treatment technologies • to face this complex problem Æ knowledge-based DSS • satisfactory results according to the pool of experts. but also environmental.