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Challenge Studies of the Pittsburgh Distribution Network Pilot Contamination Warning System

Hohman, Brittany Dawn (2009) Challenge Studies of the Pittsburgh Distribution Network Pilot Contamination Warning System. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The security and safety of the drinking water distribution system has recently generated concern. Accidental and intentional contamination by chemical, biological and radiological contaminants could cause major consequences for the consumer because clean water is critical to the nation's infrastructure. An attack on the water supply could disable an entire city. Therefore, it is necessary to develop a system to monitor the water quality to ensure the water is safe for consumption. In an attempt to protect the water systems, Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) initiated research to test the various instruments within a Contaminant Warning System (CWS). The system measures water quality and triggers an alarm for deviation in the quality. The different methods of detection utilized in the study include turbidity, chlorine, pH, conductivity, TOC, Online gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, ultra violet transmittance, biomonitor, and a pathogen identification system.The contaminants were pumped into the pilot distribution system CWS, and the responses of a variety of online monitors were evaluated. The contaminants range from fluorosilicic acid, which is used to increase the fluoride concentration of water, to a nonpathogenic species of Bacillus, which could serve as a model for Bacillus anthracis, the bacterial species that causes the disease anthrax. The system was connected to main transmission lines that feed downtown Pittsburgh with drinking water. While many of the monitors detected one or more contaminants, at least one of the devices used in the pilot distribution system CWS responded all of the contaminants.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Hohman, Brittany
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairCasson, Leonardcasson@pitt.eduCASSON
Committee MemberSyron,
Committee MemberMonnell, Jasonjdm49@pitt.eduJDM49
Committee MemberStates,
Committee MemberHarper, Williewharper@pitt.eduWHARPER
Date: 29 June 2009
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 7 January 2009
Approval Date: 29 June 2009
Submission Date: 27 February 2009
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: Contamination; Contamination waring system; Drinking Water; Online monitoring; Water Security
Other ID:, etd-02272009-134749
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:31
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:36


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