Decision-Making Tools to Manage the Microbiology of Drinking Water Distribution Systems

Silvia Carpitella, Isabel Douterelo, Stewart Husband, Gonzalo Del Olmo, Joby Boxall, Joaquín Izquierdo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper uses a two-fold multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM) approach applied for the first time to the field of microbial management of drinking water distribution systems (DWDS). Specifically, the decision-making trial and evaluation laboratory (DEMATEL) was applied removing the need for reliance on expert judgement, and analysed interdependencies among water quality parameters and microbiological characteristics of DWDS composed of different pipe materials. In addition, the fuzzy technique for order preference by similarity to ideal solution (FTOPSIS) ranked the most common bacteria identified during trials in a DWDS according to their relative abundance while managing vagueness affecting the measurements. The novel integrated approach presented and proven here for an initial real world data set provides new insights in the interdependence of environmental conditions and microbial populations. Specifically, the application shows as the bacteria having associated the most significant microbial impact may not be the most abundant. This offers the potential for integrated management strategies to promote favourable microbial conditions to help safeguard drinking water quality.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalWATER
Volume12
Publication statusPublished - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Aquatic Science
  • Water Science and Technology

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