Optimal Water Treatment: A Case Study of Kpong Headworks

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Water is one of the most essential requirements to life and most human activities involve the use of water in one way or another. It is now universally accepted that providing a community with safe water, epidemics of water-borne diseases can be prevented. Untreated surface water has long been known to be the source of much human illness. Over one billion people each year are exposed to unsafe drinking water due to poor source water quality and lack of adequate water treatment. The primary objective of any water supply scheme is to supply safe water in sufficient quantity. The main objective of this study is to develop a water treatment cost model at Kpong Headworks using linear programming to minimize the cost of treating water. The research showed that the factors which affect water treatment cost at Kpong Headworks includes; cost of personnel (labour), cost of electricity, cost of chemicals for treatment cost of fuel and lubricants, cost of repairs and maintenance, cost of raw water source, cost of other contractual, cost of civil structures of the treatment plant. The most influential factors which make it very expensive to treat water at Kpong Headworks are cost of chemical, cost of electricity and the cost of fuel. The study however revealed that, the average seasonal water treatment cost of Gh¢ 5576308.21 and Gh¢ 11633320.30 for dry and wet seasons respectively can be optimized to Gh¢ 1160000.00 in the dry season and Gh¢ 1200000.00 in the wet season to deliver the same quantity of water to consumers in each season. Sensitivity analysis performed showed that the model developed will not minimize the total cost if the unit price of a bag of chemical, unit price of electricity and price of a litre of fuel in the objective function is increased by Gh¢ 1.00 in the dry season and Gh¢ 2.25 in the wet season.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Mathematics, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of MASTER OF SCIENCE, April, 2012