An Analytical Model for the Decontamination of Water Distribution Systems Using Slug-Feed Method of Disinfection

Mengning Qiu, Elad Salomons, Avi Ostfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The increasing risk of intentional, negligent, or accidental intrusion of biological, chemical, or radioactive contaminants in water distribution systems is becoming a major concern that has significant and adverse impacts on public health. As such, it is important to have an effective, robust, and flexible plan that can be readily implemented to minimize the impact of these contamination events. However, limited research has been focused on the strategic planning of the decontamination process of the contaminated infrastructure. This paper proposes an analytical method for modeling the slug-feed method of disinfection given the drainage and disinfectant dosage profiles. The efficacy of the proposed method has been demonstrated by using it as the evaluation function in a genetic algorithm optimization of two case studies. Results show the proposed method exhibits higher robustness compared to the procedures defined in the current standard and literature. The main contributions of this study are to (1) provide a robust and accurate model to describe the slug-feed method of disinfection, (2) offer additional resource utilization flexibility for water authorities, and (3) providing additional levels of district metered areas prioritization.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2020WR028277
JournalWater Resources Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.


  • contamination
  • decontamination framework
  • slug-feed method
  • water distribution system
  • water quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology


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