Exploring the use of water resource recovery facility instrument data to visualise dynamic resilience to environmental stressors

Timothy Grant Holloway, John Williams, Djamila Ouelhadj, Gong Yang

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Water resource recovery facilities (WRRF) face increasingly dynamic stressors, such as higher rainfall intensity and extended dry periods, which can exert stress on ageing water infrastructure and processes. These events can generate process stresses, which lead to wastewater process failures which result in pollution events that could be identified from instrument data used for operational/compliance monitoring. This extraction can be performed on two levels 1) for discrete processes that generate data to monitor process control variables and 2) at the WRRF process boundary (global), which is mainly used for compliance. Both levels of data hold valuable information on the dynamic influence of environmental stressors (cause) and the resulting process stress or resilience (effect) as ‘dynamic resilience’. This paper proposes a novel methodology that uses actual water company instrument data to evaluate the ‘discrete’ (unit processes) and ‘global’ (WRRF boundary) dynamic resilience of a WRRF in the south of the UK. Dynamic resilience is presented as a four-stage methodology, which; 1) cleans WRRF data and extracts a standard operating condition; 2) identifies dynamic high and low flow environmental stressor events (one in five years); 3) models the process stresses and resilience generated by the imposed dynamic stressor before; 4) generating a contoured heat map of process-related stresses or resilience as a self ordering window. These methods demonstrate the possibility of visualising the dynamics of WRRF resilience (dynamic stressors and process stresses/resilience) resulting from high and low flow dynamic environmental stressors. Despite some challenges experienced with self ordering window scaling, the results demonstrate the possibility of identifying zones of process stress and resilience. It may also be possible to expand the methods developed to incorporate storm flows and combined sewer discharges.
Original languageEnglish
Article number118711
Number of pages11
JournalWater Research
Early online date2 Jun 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2022


  • dynamic WRRF modelling
  • resilience analysis
  • process stress analysis
  • event management
  • contoured process heat map


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