Fuzzy logic water quality

April 17, 2008

A fuzzy logic approach to analyzing water quality could help reduce the number of people in the developing world forced to drink polluted and diseased water for survival. Writing in a forthcoming issue of the International Journal of Environmental Technology and Management, an Inderscience publication, researchers from the University of Malaya, explain how a new approach to water quality assessment uses fuzzy logic to combine disparate problems and provide a more accurate indicator of overall quality.

Rivers are often the main source of freshwater resources for citizens of developing nations. Their social well-being, economics and political development float on the availability and distribution of these freshwater resources. However, in many parts of the world dam construction, irrigation development, and flood mitigation have led to an increased incidence of diseases, such as malaria, Japanese encephalitis, schistosomiasis, lymphatic filariasis and others.

Water quality assessment is an essential part for maintaining good water quality, explained by Ramani Bai Gopinath and Mohamad Rom Tamjis. They explain that a river ecosystem and the quality of the water depend mainly on pH (acidity), levels of dissolved oxygen (DO), biochemical oxygen demand, suspended solids, and the presence of chemicals including chlorides, phosphates, nitrates and sodium.

The researchers have developed a data mining approach to water quality assessment that uses a Fuzzy Inference System (FIS) to extract patterns of river water quality from water sampling data. They have demonstrated the efficacy of this approach using data collected from the river Kerayong of the Klang river basin in West Malaysia.

The principle of "fuzzy" analysis is based on using approximations in the calculations rather than precise values to give a broad and potentially more useful response. Moreover it allows disparate parameters to be combined in a meaningful way even though their values may not be related. Just as apples and oranges are different but all represent the quality of fruitiness, so biochemical oxygen demand and chemical concentrations, for instance, may represent a particular aspect of water quality and so can be combined through fuzzy analysis.

In the present study, the fuzzy analysis of the river Kerayong reveals that it is highly polluted river with a very low water quality index, despite superficial analysis of individual parameters are necessary. This suggests that the quality of life of those relying on the river as a freshwater source could be improved considerably by addressing the individual pollution problems.

"We recommend further studies on data mining capabilities of the Fuzzy Inference System using more than six indicators of water quality," the researchers conclude.

Source: Inderscience Publishers

Explore further: Weather and environmental forecasts tailored to you

Related Stories

Weather and environmental forecasts tailored to you

October 11, 2013

Want to know what the weather will be like tomorrow? A simple internet search will provide a forecast, or, more likely, many forecasts. How can you be sure which one is accurate? And what if you also want to know the pollen ...

VIMS scientists help solve mystery of 'alien pod'

November 1, 2010

Tracy Collier, an employee at Home Technologies in Newport News, Virginia, was walking her employer's Westie around the Center's manmade lake on Thursday when she saw a large, mysterious blob floating in the water.

Pa. accused of rubber-stamping gas permits

April 13, 2011

(AP) -- Pennsylvania environmental regulators say they spend as little as 35 minutes reviewing each of the thousands of applications for natural gas well permits they get each year from drillers intent on tapping the state's ...

Ancient river creature yields clue to environment

August 13, 2012

The monster rocketed from the water. It wriggled to the right, wiggled to the left, then - splat! - smacked Grover Brown in the guts. A lesser scientist would have quailed. Not Brown.

Tofu-like crystalline catalysts for producing clean energy

September 19, 2013

Research by Professor Jian-Ren Shen at Okayama University demystifies the reaction mechanisms of photosynthesis and the findings may lead to the development of methods for producing an unlimited source of clean energy.

Recommended for you

Can Paris pledges avert severe climate change?

November 26, 2015

More than 190 countries are meeting in Paris next week to create a durable framework for addressing climate change and to implement a process to reduce greenhouse gases over time. A key part of this agreement would be the ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.