Master's thesis projects 20/21

Available master's projects within DRICKS –  descriptions of projects for the academic year of 2020/2021

Presentation from info meeting Nov 3rd: Master_thesis_projects-DRICKS_2020-11-03.pdf


Analysing and evaluating drinking water supply reliability 

Background:
Interruptions in the drinking water supply can cause severe consequences in society and be related with high socioeconomic costs. Supply interruptions may occur due to pipe bursts, failures in the treatment plant, contamination of the water sources and other reasons. There is no common approach for how to measure supply reliability and define target values in Sweden. A specific model for analysing entire drinking water supply systems and estimating the supply reliability has previously been developed at Chalmers. 
Aim:
The aim of this project is to further assist Swedish water utilities in how to describe and evaluate water supply reliability. Specific objectives are to: (1) identify and describe how water supply reliability can be described; identify and describe possible tolerability criteria (acceptable risk) and target values; and (3) analyse and evaluate the supply reliability in a Swedish drinking water supply using the existing method or another suitable approach. 
Contact: 
Andreas Lindhe, Chalmers, andreas.lindhe@chalmers.se  

 

Delineation of water protection areas 

Background:
An important part of securing the access to water sources of good quality are water protection areas, regulated in the Swedish Environmental Code. A key part of developing a water protection area is the delineation and definition of protection zones. Different methods and approaches exist for the delineation of water protection areas. However, it will be investigated what methods are suitable and how does their choice affect the final result and the subsequent work including a risk analysis, etc. 
Aim:
The aim of this project is to apply and evaluate different approaches/methods for delineating water protection areas. One or more case studies (primarily groundwater sources) will be used. The results will be analysed based on how different methods’ results affect the identification of hazards (contamination sources etc.) as well as other services provided by the water sources (i.e. not only drinking water supply but also water for irrigation, recreation etc.). You will map and suggest under what conditions the different methods are applicable and recommended.  
Other:
This thesis project will be linked to an ongoing research project, WaterPlan (Risk-based prioritization of water protection in sustainable spatial planning). The aim of WaterPlan is to develop methods and approaches that enable well-informed analyses and prioritization of measures for protecting drinking water. 
 
Contact:
Andreas Lindhe, Chalmers, andreas.lindhe@chalmers.se  
Nadine Gärtner, Chalmers, nadine.gartner@chalmers.se

Digital tvilling av dricksvattenverk för stresstester, klimatanpassning och optimeringsändamål

Bakgrund:
Vilka är effekterna av extremväder, extrem vattenförbrukning, kombination av pågående underhållsarbete eller bortfall av utrustning som kan ge en situation där vattenverket måste minska eller optimera sin vattenproduktion?  Digitaliseringen av dricksvattensektorn går framåt. Fler om fler vattenverk använder online-mätningar och smarta klimattjänster för att förbättra och anpassa sin process. Klimatförändringar och växande befolkning kan dock vara en stor utmaning för ett antal vattenverk. Vattenverken kan komma att utsättas för extrema situationer som utmanar beredningen av dricksvattnet. Sektorn har även en annan stor utmaning: effektiv hantering av stora datamängder (t.ex. klimatdata, data från ledningsnätet, data från ett stort antal sensorer) och extraktion av värdefull information. Här kan automatiserade procedurer som används inom AI komma till nytta.
Metod:
Inom det Vinnova-finansierade projektet DigiDrick togs det fram ett stort antal skript i programmeringsspråket Python (t.ex. https://github.com/IVL-Research/DigiDrick) som kan användas för att automatiskt analysera processer i vattenverket.  I nästa skede är det planerat att ta fram en så kallad digital tvilling som kan användas för att simulera olika tillstånd och situationer som möjligen skulle kunna vara en utmaning för beredningen av dricksvattnet. Databaser och skript som automatiskt läser in process- och råvattendata finns och kommer att göras tillgängligt. Baserat på dessa, ska nya skript tas fram som kan simulera enklare processer såsom fällning, sedimentering och sandfilterpassage. Under arbetet ska ett antal historiska utmanande situationer återbildas samt en del scenarier för avvikande situationer studeras. I slutet av arbetet ska resultaten från simuleringen av dessa situationer analyseras och granskas. 
Syfte:
Syftet med examensarbetet är:
  • att ta fram en digital tvilling av ett vattenverk som kan beräkna fällningsdos, sedimentering samt sandfilterpassage som funktion av vattenförbrukning och vattenkvalitet 
  • att avbilda ett antal historiska händelser och ta fram olika scenarier med avseende på vattenkvalitet eller förbrukningsmönster som kan vara utmanande för beredningen.
Övrigt:
Examensarbetet vid SLU som genomförs i samarbete med Norrvatten. 
Nivå och längd: Avancerad (magister/master), 30hp/20veckor.
Kontakt:
Huvudhandledare: Stephan Köhler, SLU, stephan.kohler@slu.se, +4618673826
Biträdande handledare: Hampus Markensten, SLU, hampus.markensten@slu.se, +4618673157
Biträdande handledare: Håkan Fridén, IVL, hakan.friden@ivl.se

Effekt av pH-förändringar på ledningsnätet 

Bakgrund:
NOVF har som ett mål att minska och ta bort så mycket kemikalier som möjligt i reningsprocessen av dricksvattnet. Som ett led i det arbetet vill man titta på effekten på ledningsnätet om man tar bort natriumhydroxiddoseringen i dricksvattnet. Natriumhydroxid tillsätts i råvattnet för att höja pH-värdet så att dricksvattnet har ett pH på ca 8,4 när det lämnar verket. Råvattnet har från början pH-värde mellan 6,9 och 8,0 beroende på från vilken grundvattenbrunn det kommer ifrån. 
Syfte:
Att titta på eventuella negativa effekter på ledningsnätet som en sänkning av pH-värde i levererat dricksvatten skulle kunna medföra. 
Mål: 
  • Att ta reda på vilka effekter en sänkning av pH-värdet i dricksvattnet skulle kunna ha på biofilm och material i vattenledningar  
  • Att titta på mellan vilka pH-värden vattnet kan variera mellan utan att påverkan på ledningsnät sker.  
  • Att titta på om det finns andra åtgärder man kan göra för att minska eventuell negativ påverkan  
  • Att räkna på den ekonomiska och miljömässiga vinsten att ta bort natriumhydroxiden, samt eventuella ekonomiska förluster en negativ effekt skulle kunna medföra   
Övrigt:
Projektet utförs i samarbete med NOVF, Nyköping-Oxelösunds Vattenverksförbund 
Kontakt:
Verksamhetschef: Karolina Wetterblad, tel. 0765400678, karolina.wetterblad@nykoping.se  
Processingenjör: Kristina Holmstedt, tel. 0155 457349, kristina.holmstedt@nykoping.se    

Evaluation of governmental grants for better water management

Background:
Water scarcity and droughts have caused major problems in many parts of Sweden in recent years. Droughts have, for example, affected the possibility to produce and supply enough water to meet the demand, especially in southeast Sweden. Due to climate change effects, periods of drought and extreme weather may become more common in the future and thus pose a sever threat to the water supply. To secure the access to drinking water, the Swedish government has set aside a total of SEK 110 million in 2019 and 2020 to support projects that will facilitate better water management. The purpose is to ensure better water management and provide better access to drinking water. The grant has been used to support measures related to: 
  • water protection areas, 
  • water savings, 
  • basis for knowledge or planning, 
  • investment in new technology, and 
  • other measures.   
The Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management (Havs- och vattenmyndigheten) is the responsible agency tasked to protect, restore and ensure sustainable use of freshwater resources. The agency manages the grant with the help of the 21 county administrative boards. In total, 280 projects mainly proposed by municipalities and municipally owned companies have received funding. There is now a need to evaluate the performed projects to see if they have led to a better water management. 
Examples of projects: 
  • Reducing water supply vulnerability: collaborative projects to develop a common emergency water strategy and plan, collaboration to help each other in drought and water shortages, climate adaptation of drinking water supply, water resource plan, etc. 
  • Monitoring: Level monitoring in lakes and watercourses, groundwater levels, the quality of individual wells in an area, survey of extraction capacity, etc. 
  • Reduce leakage (conduct leak detection, automated monitoring, decision support to reduce leakage 
  • Water protection areas: produce documentation for the establishment, risk assessment, delimitation and updating of regulations. 
  • New technology: UV light, microbial barriers, reuse of wastewater, reverse osmosis to remove nitrate 
Aim:
The aim of this Master’s thesis project is to evaluate the performed project within one or two of the categories listed above. Specific types of projects can be selected based on the student’s interest. Specific objectives are to: (i) categorise the performed projects based on type of measure and final effects on the water management, (ii) evaluate how the state subsidies have been used and if the funding have been perceived as a real support to the water producers, and (iii) evaluate the projects effects on water management.   
Method: 
The evaluation should be based on the final reports that the projects must compile after the projects have been performed and measures implemented. A structure for categorising the projects will be developed and applied. In addition, interviews with representatives from municipalities and county administrative boards should be carried out. Other actors on national, regional or local level may also be of interest to include in the interviews. The evaluation could include questions such as: what were the results of the measures, how will the remaining follow-up be carried out, what were the difficulties and did the grant result in effective measures to achieve a better water management?    
Literature suggestions:
  • Final reports from the different projects 
  • Förordning (2019:556) om statligt stöd till bättre vattenhushållning 
  • Additional literature will be provided later    
Special prerequisites:
We recommend that the study is performed in collaboration between two students. The students need to speak and write Swedish fluently.    
Contact:
Supervisor: Andreas Lindhe, andreas.lindhe@chalmers.se
Supervisor: Margareta Lundin Unger, margareta.lundinunger@havochvatten.se  
Examiner: Lars Rosén, lars.rosen@chalmers.se  


Examensarbete vid Norrvatten i Stockholm

Bakgrund:
Norrvatten producerar och distribuerar dricksvatten till 14 kommuner i norra Storstockholm. Närmare 700 000 människor, flera stora sjukhus samt Arlanda flygplats är beroende av att Norrvatten alltid kan leverera ett hälsosamt dricksvatten. Norrvatten producerar dricksvattnet i Görvälnverket i Järfälla och använder Mälaren som vattentäkt. Norrvatten har även flera grundvattenverk som kan användas vid behov. Norrvatten är nu inne i ett intensivt arbete med att bygga ut produktionskapaciteten och förbättra reningen. Norrvatten arbetar också aktivt för att få till åtgärder som minskar tillförseln av oönskade ämnen till dricksvattentäkter, så kallat uppströmsarbete. Självklart ska det producerade vattnet levereras på ett miljömässigt, resurseffektivt och säkert sätt till dricksvattenkonsumenterna. För att klara detta arbetar Norrvatten även ständigt med att vidareutveckla dricksvattendistributionen. Norrvatten har även ett antal grundvattentäkter belägna i exploaterade områden, varför det finns många intressanta frågeställningar kring dessa att hantera.
Övrigt
Examensarbeten på Norrvatten kan vara såväl teoretiska som mer praktiskt inriktade. Såväl kandidatarbeten som examensarbete för master är aktuella.
Tid:
Flexibelt
Kontakt:
Välkommen med din intresseanmälan till Daniel Hellström, Chef Kvalitet och Utveckling. Ange "Intresserad av examensarbete" i ämnesraden.
Daniel Hellström, Norrvatten, tel.08-627 37 00, daniel.hellstrom@norrvatten.s

Modelling the effects of socioeconomic development and climate change on the microbial water quality in Lake Mälaren    

Background:
Activities in the watershed of a drinking water source can pose health risks to drinking water consumers. Consequently, socioeconomic development is important when predicting microbial water quality. Socioeconomic development can be described using Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs). In addition, climate change alters meteorological parameters, thereby affecting flow regimes as well as fate and transport of microorganisms. Climate change scenarios can be defined using Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs).    
Aim:
The aim of this thesis is to use water quality modelling to assess the effects of socioeconomic development and climate change on the microbial water quality in Lake Mälaren – a drinking water source for approximately two million people.   
Other: 
This project will be performed in contact with Helene Ejhed at the drinking water producer Norrvatten in Sweden and Nynke Hofstra at the Wageningen University in the Netherlands.        
Contact
Supervisor and Examiner Ekaterina Sokolova, ekaterina.sokolova@chalmers.se    
Supervisor Mia Bondelind, mia.bondelind@chalmers.se     
  

Modelling drinking water treatment in combination with quantitative microbial risk assessment to account for climate change effects   

Background:
Drinking water treatment needs to be dimensioned to address the microbial risks and produce safe drinking water.
Aim:
The aim of this project is to improve quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA) approach to account for the dependencies between the different steps in the drinking water treatment plant.    In this project, a simplified model of a drinking treatment plant will be developed and coupled with the existing QMRA tool, in order to account for dependency between the different treatment steps and thus the effects of sub-optimal treatment in previous steps.    
Objectives:
  • to identify (simpler) models of treatment train in literature; 
  • to build on an existing model or develop a simplified model for the treatment train; the model will have a focus on climate change effects and associated risks. 
  • To couple the model to the existing QMRA tool.  
Contact:
Supervisor, Mia Bondelind, mia.bondelind@chalmers.se    
Supervisor and Examiner, Ekaterina Sokolova, ekaterina.sokolova@chalmers.se     

Modelling fate and transport of perfluorinated compounds in Lake Ekoln

Background:
Lake Ekoln is polluted with perfluorinated (PFOS) compounds. Pollutant reach the lake with wastewater discharges from Uppsala, through the esker that got polluted due to fire extinguishing exercises at the Ärna airport, and through the air. PFOS is very stable in the environment and can be transported long distances. Through Lake Ekoln. pollutants can reach Lake Mälaren and the water intake of the Görnväln drinking water treatment serving 600 000 consumers in Stockholm and neighbouring municipalities. In a previous project, a hydrodynamic model of Lake Ekoln was set-up in MIKE 3 by DHI software. In this MSc thesis project, this model will be used to simulate the spread of PFOS with the lake.
Aim:
The aim is to analyse pathways, transport times, and trends for PFOS in Lake Ekoln. The existing hydrodynamic model of Lake Ekoln will be used to simulate the spread of PFOS and test scenarios that can lead to critical situations.
Other:
This project will be performed in contact with drinking water producer Norrvatten.
Contact:
Mia Bondelind, Chalmers, mia.bondelind@chalmers.se
Stephan Köhler, SLU,  stephan.kohler@slu.se 

Optimising flocculation and filtration under conditions of changing climate using hydrodynamic modelling    

Background:
Natural organic matter (NOM) may have a negative effect on drinking water treatment, and the concentrations of NOM increase under conditions of changing climate. 
Aim:
The aim of this thesis is to evaluate how hydrodynamic modelling of water temperature and NOM in the water source can be used to optimise the flocculation and filtration treatment steps at the drinking water treatment plant.    
Contact:
Supervisor, Mia Bondelind, Chalmers, mia.bondelind@chalmers.se    
Supervisor and Examiner, Ekaterina Sokolova, Chalmers, ekaterina.sokolova@chalmers.se     

Risk assessment for drinking water sources 

Background: 
Public health and economic development rely on access to and the quality of drinking water. Drinking water systems are, however, exposed to a wide range of risks due to e.g. human activities, societal development, aging infrastructure and climate change. Industrial and agricultural activities, accidents, infrastructure projects, and urban development in general may cause harm to water sources. Drinking water sources are also key components in supply systems of many other goods and services, from food production and process industry to aesthetic and recreational services. Hence, we must assess existing risks to enable an efficient protection of drinking water sources and prioritisation of protective measures. However, there is a need to further develop existing methods and approaches for risk assessment of water sources. We also need additional knowledge on how specific contamination sources and other hazards can affect the different services a water sources provides, including raw water for drinking water supply. 
Aim:
The aim of this project is to perform a risk assessment of a drinking water source (a specific case will be identified together with the student), focusing on one or several contamination sources or hazards that may affect the water availability. The effects of possible mitigation measures will also be estimated. The specific methods or models to be used will be identified based on the hazards to be analysed. 
Other:
In an ongoing research project, WaterPlan (Risk-based prioritization of water protection in sustainable spatial planning), we aim to develop methods and approaches that enable well-informed analyses and prioritization of measures for protecting drinking. This thesis work will be part of the WaterPlan project
Contact:
Andreas Lindhe, Chalmers, andreas.lindhe@chalmers.se  
Nadine Gärtner, Chalmers, nadine.gartner@chalmers.se 

Quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA) and climate change

Background:
Waterborne gastrointestinal diseases are a major contributor to the global disease burden and mortality. Recent research suggests that the entire drinking water system may suffer due to climate change; and that extreme weather events will increase the incidence of waterborne diseases. Current scientific understanding regarding the impact of climate change on overall public health risk remains ambiguous. To assess drinking water safety, the World Health Organisation recommends a risk-based approach encompassing all steps of the drinking water supply system from the catchment to the consumer. In this light, Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment (QMRA) is widely used to analyse and inform the management of the drinking water supply system. Generic QMRA tools have been developed to perform QMRA for specific drinking water treatment plants with different treatment trains and varying pathogen levels in the source water. There are also examples of QMRA being applied to quantify relative infection risks for selected waterborne pathogens under different climate change scenarios. Currently, there are several QMRA tools available with different capabilities. In this MSc thesis, these tools will be compared with special focus on their suitability to assess the effects of climate change on microbial risks
Aim:
The aim is to compare the available QMRA tools and evaluate their suitability to account for climate change effects on the microbial health risks for drinking water consumers.
Other:
This project will be performed in contact with Julia Derx at the Vienna University of Technology, Austria.
Contact:
Supervisor: Mia Bondelind, Chalmers, mia.bondelind@chalmers.se    
Supervisor and Examiner: Ekaterina Sokolova, Chalmers, ekaterina.sokolova@chalmers.se    


Study of online sensors in drinking water system

Background:
Around 30% of the water-borne gastro-intestinal (GI) infections in drinking water systems originates from events and failures in the distribution network. Leakage (holes/cracks) in distribution systems may cause intrusion of contaminated water in the drinking water pipes and is one important factor to health problems.
Aim:
The aim of this study is to carry out a study on sensor installations in Sydvatten’s/NSVA’s distribution systems, which parameters should be monitored to detect leakage and thus also assess health risks (QMRA). Water meters may be equipped with both pressure sensors and quality sensors to detect leakage. • Suggest an online sensor system in Helsingborg.
Contact:
Supervisor: Thomas Pettersson, Chalmers, thomasp@chalmers.se +46 31 772 2127
Simon Bengtsson, NSVA, Simon.Bengtsson@nsva.se

Sustainable maintenance of urban water systems – to walk the walk

Background:
Urban water systems (UWS) include water, wastewater and stormwater pipes. Failure occurring in the UWS can substantially affect society (e.g drinking water availability, basement floodings and discharge of pollutants). Many of the UWS pipes in Sweden were installed before 1970. To mitigate increasing number of failures (e.g. pipe bursts and leakages) in the UWS, the need for a higher rehabilitation rate in the future has been acknowledged. Maintaining and keeping these systems in adequate condition is essential for the delivery of safe drinking water. 
Rehabilitation and investments in buried infrastructure are often expensive and maintenance needs to be planned both short and long term in order to spend resources effectively. In academic literature there are many different types of decision support models that can describe and evaluate the UWS and analyse the need for reinvestments, aiding water utilities in the asset management process. However, models in asset management and there is a need to connect the academia and the industry. 
Aim and objectives:
  • Interview small and medium size water utilities
  • Map the current situation regarding the use of decision support models in maintenance in small and medium sized utilities
  • Identify hinders for, as well as key aspects that can aid, municipalities in the implementation of available decision support models
The municipalities will benefit from the results by bridging the gap between academic knowledge and practical application. Identifying the municipality need is the first step towards the development of a more comprehensive decision support model for maintaining UWS. Additionally, municipalities will be able to gain knowledge from and inspire eachother based on the interviews. The results will be used further in the research program Mistra InfraMaint to develop methods for sustainable maintenance of infrastructure.
Time:
Spring 2021 
Other:
The thesis may be written by 1-2 students. At least one of the students should be able to read and speak Swedish. It is an advantage (but not mandatory) to have taken courses related to drinking water engineering, risk assessment and decision support. 
Contact:
Viktor Bergion, Chalmers, viktor.bergion@chalmers.se
Andreas Lindhe, Chalmers, andreas.lindhe@chalmers.se

Uppehållstid för vatten i Larslundsåsen 

Bakgrund:
NOVF har sedan 1960 infiltrerat vatten i åsen vid Larslund. Erfarenhet från driftansvarig sägs att I början på 2000 talet gjordes ett infiltrationsförsök i damm 1. Då användes ett konstgjort salt. Saltet indikerades efter ca 30 dagar. Det finns ingen dokumentation på detta och verksamheten vet inte vilken brunn eller brunnsområde som saltet indikerades.  Under 2016 började verksamheten göra en MBA analys. I och med den behövde verksamheten ta reda på mer exakt om uppehållstiden. Alternativ har utredds hur mätningen ska gå till. Att blanda vanligt koksalt och infiltrera den mättade saltlösningen blev den metod som valdes.  Metoden visade sig inte vara tillförlitlig då saltet aldrig nådde uttagsbrunnarna. Inget salt kunde detekteras under 4 månader. Den troligaste orsaken till att saltet aldrig kom fram är att det sjunkit på djupare nivå ä våra uttagsbrunnar eller ”åkt iväg” på lerskikt i åsen. 
Syfte:
Syftet med infiltrationsförsöket är att mäta uppehållstiden för vattnet från det att det släpps i dammarna till dess att vattnet tas upp i brunnsområdena. 
Genomförande:
Examensarbetaren behöver fundera ut hur ett infiltrationsförsök kan genomföras samt vilka underlag som behövs för att kunna ta fram ett program för infiltration.  Examensarbetaren leder projektet, skriver projektplan, utformar tidplan, uppskattar kostnader, utformar journal och dokumenterar resultat och speciella händelser i projektet. Gör en uppföljning varje vecka för att gå igenom resultat. För en dialog med Laboratoriet i Nyköping angående vilka prover som ska analyseras.  Gör en uppföljning för slutrapport.  Under projektet finns tillgång till verksamhetschef och driftansvarig för NOVF. 
Övrigt:
Projektet genomförs i samarbete med NOVF, Nyköping-Oxelösunds Vattenverksförbund 
Kontakt:
Verksamhetschef: Karolina Wetterblad, 0765400678, karolina.wetterblad@nykoping.se 
Driftansvarig: Kurt Boström, 0765400680, kurt.bostrom@nykoping.se 
Processingenjör: Kristina Holmstedt, 0755 248157, kristina.holmstedt@nykoping.se 

Publicerad: fr 27 nov 2020.