Drinking water quality and management strategies in small Quebec utilities

Authors: Coulibaly, Housseini Diadié
Advisor: Rodriguez-Pinzon, Manuel J.
Abstract: This thesis presents a study of small Quebec municipal utilities (i.e., serving 10,000 people or fewer) and includes three chapters. The first chapter focuses on a portrait of historical quality of distributed water and on management strategies. Concurrently, it puts historical quality and management strategies in relation to certain important water quality parameters. Results show that for surface water utilities using chlorination alone, the mean difference of annual system flushings between utilities that have experienced difficulties with historical quality and those not having experienced such difficulties proved statistically significant. In addition, some agricultural land-use indicators within the municipal territory appeared significantly correlated with coliform occurrences. The second chapter studies the spatial and temporal variation of drinking water quality in ten small utilities. These utilities were divided into two groups: four utilities that had never or rarely served water violating the provincial drinking water microbiological standards and six utilities that very often infringed upon said standards. Results show that the differences between the two groups of utilities are associated essentially with maintained chlorine residuals and heterotrophic plate count bacteria populations in corresponding distribution systems and, to a lesser extent, to the applied chlorine doses. The study includes three distinctive parts: the first one is a portrait of studied utilities’ operational, infrastructure, and maintenance characteristics; the second part is devoted to development of indicators of performance for the same utilities, whereas the last part deals with human and organisational factors. The portrait revealed interesting trends, most of which had been confirmed by utility performance indicators. As for human and organizational factors, they allowed highlighting such issues like educational background, supplementary training, experience, awareness of and preparedness to take up new challenges, and support from local authorities. Overall, this research enabled a thorough investigation of management strategies the most popular with small drinking water utilities and the development of explanatory tools that may usefully guide action from local managers and government bodies.
Document Type: Thèse de doctorat
Issue Date: 2003
Open Access Date: 11 April 2018
Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11794/17867
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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