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Wastewater Collection and Treatment System Security: Contaminant Prioritization and Chemical Detection

Zimmerman, Adam Eugene (2006) Wastewater Collection and Treatment System Security: Contaminant Prioritization and Chemical Detection. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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In recent times terrorists have targeted US citizens at home or abroad. These attacks have primarily concentrated on infrastructure. The destruction of infrastructure is frequently considered an attack on the U.S. Government and the U.S. economy. Among the most critical infrastructure areas needing protection are the potable water treatment and distribution system and wastewater collection and treatment system. In this time of elevated security and concern over possible terrorist attacks, it has become necessary to prepare emergency response plans for public utilities (including wastewater collection and treatment systems). A framework was developed to numerically rank chemical, biological, and radiological agents with respect to four end points for wastewater collection and treatment. The end points were worker/public health, process upset, physical damage/destruction, and pass through. The four end points were each evaluated with eight criteria. The eight criteria were availability, potency, persistence, introduction/dispersion, process removal, storability, outcomes, and public perception. A literature review was performed for every contaminant evaluated, to determine a numerical value between 1 and 5 to assign to each of the criteria. At the completion of this research a basic foundation for the prioritization framework had been developed and used to evaluated 14 contaminants. In addition to developing the prioritization framework, this researched evaluated current technology for detecting volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) using the man portable Hapsite GC/MS. Six water samples were used to evaluate the detection capabilities of the Hapsite GC/MS in varying qualities of water. The samples included distilled water, drinking water, and river water, and from a wastewater treatment facility, primary effluent, secondary effluent, and mixed liquor from the aeration basin. The six water samples were spiked with nine VOCs, at concentrations of 1, 10, and 50 ppb, and analyzed with the Hapsite GC/MS. The observed results indicate that there was a false, low concentration measured in the primary effluent. A false low was also observed in the mixed liquor for select VOCs, depending on their octanol-water partition coefficient. The temperature of an analyzed water sample could affect the instrument's detection capabilities.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Zimmerman, Adam Eugeneaez7@pitt.eduAEZ7
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairCasson, Leonard W.casson@engr.pitt.eduCASSON
Committee MemberNeufeld, Ronald D.neufeld@engr.pitt.eduNEUFELD
Committee MemberStates, Stanley
Date: 2 June 2006
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 12 December 2005
Approval Date: 2 June 2006
Submission Date: 19 January 2006
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Swanson School of Engineering > Civil and Environmental Engineering
Degree: MSCE - Master of Science in Civil Engineering
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: GC/MS; hapsite; terrorism; VOC detection; wastewater security
Other ID:, etd-01192006-153058
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:31
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:36


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