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Water 2018, 10(7), 912; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10070912

Vulnerability Assessment to Trihalomethane Exposure in Water Distribution Systems

1
Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering, University of Cassino and Southern Lazio, 03043 Cassino, Italy
2
Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture, University of Pavia, 27100 Pavia, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 May 2018 / Revised: 29 June 2018 / Accepted: 6 July 2018 / Published: 10 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Water Distribution Networks)
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Abstract

Chlorination is an effective and cheap disinfectant for preventing waterborne diseases-causing microorganisms, but its compounds tend to react with the natural organic matter (NOM), forming potentially harmful and unwanted disinfection by-products (DBPs) such as trihalomethanes (THMs), haloacetic acids (HAAs), and others. The present paper proposes a methodology for estimating the vulnerability with respect to users’ exposure to DPBs in water distribution systems (WDSs). The presented application considers total THMs (TTHMs) concentration, but the methodology can be used also for other types of DPBs. Five vulnerability indexes are adopted that furnish different kinds of information about the exposure. The methodology is applied to five case studies, and the results suggest that the introduced indexes identify different critical areas in respect to elevated concentrations of TTHMs. In this way, the use of the proposed methodology allows identifying the higher risk nodes with respect to the different kinds of exposure, whether it is a short period of exposure to high TTHMs values, or chronic exposure to low concentrations. The application of the methodology furnishes useful information for an optimal WDS management, for planning system modifications and district sectorization taking into account water quality. View Full-Text
Keywords: water distribution system; water quality; disinfection by-products; vulnerability water distribution system; water quality; disinfection by-products; vulnerability
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Quintiliani, C.; Di Cristo, C.; Leopardi, A. Vulnerability Assessment to Trihalomethane Exposure in Water Distribution Systems. Water 2018, 10, 912.

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