IWA Publishing

Drinking water quality control: control charts for turbidity and pH

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

Water treatment processes are required to be in statistical control and capable of meeting drinking water specifications. Control charts are used to monitor the stability of quality parameters by distinguishing the in-control and out-of-control states. The basic assumption in standard applications of control charts is that observed data from the process are independent and identically distributed. However, the independence assumption is often violated in chemical processes such as water treatment. Autocorrelation, a measure of dependency, is a correlation between members of a series arranged in time. The residuals obtained from an autoregressive integrated moving averages (ARIMA) time series model plotted on a standard control chart is used to overcome the misleading of standard control charts in the case of autocorrelation. In this study, a special cause control (SCC) chart, also called a chart of residuals from the fitted ARIMA model, has been used for turbidity and pH data from a drinking water treatment plant in Samsun, Turkey. ARIMA (3,1,0) for turbidity and ARIMA (1,1,1) for pH were determined as the best time series models to remove autocorrelation. The results showed that the SCC chart is more appropriate for autocorrelated data to evaluate the stability of the water treatment process, since it provides a higher probability of coverage than an individual control chart.

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