Calibration and optimization of the pumping and disinfection of a real water supply system

Matthew S. Gibbs; Graeme C. Dandy, M.ASCE; and Holger R. Maier, 2010

Maintaining a disinfectant residual in water distribution systems WDSs is generally considered paramount to ensuring a safe drinking water supply. This objective can be assisted by the use of booster stations to increase disinfectant concentrations throughout the network. However, identifying the appropriate dose at each station is an optimization problem. The aim is to minimize the total mass of disinfectant dosed and reduce the cost of disinfection along with potential taste, odor, or by-product problems, while maintaining a certain minimum residual in the network. The residual present in the water at any location is not only dependent on the amount of disinfectant added to the water, but also the hydraulics of the system and the resulting detention times. A number of previous studies have tackled this optimization problem, however, a review of current literature suggests that in many cases the hydraulics of the system have been held constant, or the WDSs considered were hypothetical systems with relatively few constraints. This study considers the booster disinfection dosing problem, including daily pump scheduling, for a real system in Sydney, Australia. Before the system can be optimized, a representative model is required to ensure useful results, and the many constraints on the daily operation system must be accounted for in the fitness function considered. The results from the optimization study indicate it is necessary to consider the hydraulics as well as the dosing regime in the optimization process, as cycling reservoir levels minimizes detention times, and hence, disinfectant residuals are maintained at the extremities of the network. Also, significant energy cost savings of up to 30% can be made by scheduling the pumping in the system in line with the off-peak electricity costs.

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