A Decision Support System for Indirect Potable Reuse Based on Integrated Modeling

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Virginia Tech


Optimal operation of water reclamation facilities (WRFs) is critical for an indirect potable reuse (IPR) system, especially when the reclaimed water constitutes a major portion of the reservoir's safe yield. It requires timely and informed decision-making in response to the fluctuating operational conditions, e.g., weather patterns, plant performance, water demand, etc. Advanced integrated modeling techniques can be used to develop reliable operational strategies to mitigate future risks associated with water quality without needing high levels of financial investment.

The Upper Occoquan Service Authority (UOSA) WRF, located in northern Virginia, discharges nitrified reclaimed water directly into a tributary of the Occoquan Reservoir, one of the major water supply sources for Fairfax County. Among the many operational challenges at UOSA, one is to regulate the nitrate concentration in its reclaimed water based on the denitrifying capacity of the reservoir. This study presents an integrated model that is used to predict future reservoir conditions based on the weather and streamflow forecasts obtained from the Climate Forecast System and the National Water Model. The application captures the dynamic transformations of the pollutant loadings in the streams, withdrawals by the water treatment plant, WRF effluent flows, and plant operations to manage the WRF performance. It provides plant operators with useful feedback for correctly targeting the effluent nitrates using an intelligent process simulator called IViewOps.

The platform is powered by URUNME, a new software that fully automates the operation of the reservoir and process models integrating forecasting products, and data sources. URUNME was developed in C#.NET to provide out-of-the-box functionality for model coupling, data storage, analysis, visualization, scenario management, and decision support systems. The software automatically runs the entire integrated model and outputs data on user-friendly dashboards, displaying historical and forecasting trends, on a periodic basis. This decision support system can provide stakeholders with a holistic view for the design, planning, risk assessments, and potential improvements in various components of the water supply chain, not just for the Occoquan but for any reservoir augmentation type IPR system.



Decision Support System, Integrated Modeling, Indirect Potable Reuse, National Water Model, Water and Wastewater Treatment, Weather Forecasting