Risk assessment of drinking water supply failures in Canada

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Lee, Mijin

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University of Guelph


The vulnerability of drinking water infrastructure systems in Canada is a great concern. This research assessed the potential risk associated with generic municipal drinking water systems, select historical outbreaks, and several current systems in Canada. It will provide system managers and operators with a better understanding of their drinking water systems and assist them with effective improvements to their infrastructures. A fault tree was used to establish the structure of potential failures in the systems and fuzzy logic analysis translated qualitative risk data into probabilities. The results of this study indicated that the total risk is caused by a combination of multiple failures, such as critical operator errors and maintenance problems. Robust multi-barrier designs of the systems and well-trained employees are strongly recommended.



vulnerability, drinking water infrastructure systems, Canada, risk assessment, municipal drinking water systems