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07-01-2021 | Issue 2/2021

Environmental Management 2/2021

Source to Tap Risk Assessment for Intermittent Water Supply Systems in Arid Regions: An Integrated FTA—Fuzzy FMEA Methodology

Journal:
Environmental Management > Issue 2/2021
Authors:
Husnain Haider, Mohammed Hammed Alkhowaiter, M. D. Shafiquzzaman, Mohammad Alresheedi, Saleem S. AlSaleem, Abdul Razzaq Ghumman
Important notes

Supplementary information

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s00267-020-01400-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Publisher’s note Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Abstract

Water utilities in arid regions deal with multifaceted issues of natural groundwater contamination, high treatment costs, and low water rates. These utilities rely on intermittent supplies resulting in numerous water quality failures at source, treatment, distribution, and in-house plumbing systems. The present research presents an inclusive risk assessment methodology for managing water quality from source to tap. Three-year monitoring data for turbidity, TDS, pH, iron, ammonia, nitrates, residual chlorine, Coliform group, E. coli, and Fecal Streptococci identified the root causes of failures. The cause-effect relationships in the form of a fault tree were solved using multiple failure modes and effect analysis (FMEA) to handle both the Boolean operations. The fuzzy sets addressed the uncertainties associated with data limitations in calculating exceedance probabilities (Pe) and vagueness in expert opinion for subjective evaluation of severity and detectability. The methodology was applied on a smaller system serving 18,000 consumers in Qassim, Saudi Arabia. Potable supplied water underwent reoccurrence of TDS (Pe = 20%), turbidity (Pe = 10%), and Fe (Pe = 2%) failures in distribution that further increased up to 44%, 33%, and 11% at the consumer end. The Pe for residual chlorine failure soared up to 89%. Economic controls reduced the cumulative risk to 50%, while the shift to continuous supply can limit the remaining failures under the acceptable risk. The framework will help utilities manage water quality in intermittent systems from source to tap in Saudi Arabia, the Gulf, and elsewhere.

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