Development of artificial neural networks based confidence intervals and response surfaces for the optimization of coagulation performance

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

Effective coagulation is essential to achieving drinking water treatment objectives when considering surface water. To minimize settled water turbidity, artificial neural networks (ANNs) have been adopted to predict optimum alum and carbon dioxide dosages at the Elgin Area Water Treatment Plant. ANNs were applied to predict both optimum carbon dioxide and alum dosages with correlation (R2) values of 0.68 and 0.90, respectively. ANNs were also used to developed surface response plots to ease optimum selection of dosage. Trained ANNs were used to predict turbidity outcomes for a range of alum and carbon dioxide dosages and these were compared to historical data. Point-wise confidence intervals were obtained based on error and squared error values during the training process. The probability of the true value falling within the predicted interval ranged from 0.25 to 0.81 and the average interval width ranged from 0.15 to 0.62 NTU. Training an ANN using the squared error produced a larger average interval width, but better probability of a true prediction interval.

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