Using decision analysis to determine optimal experimental design for monitoring sewer exfiltration with tracers.


The tracer methods developed to assess exfiltration from sewers in the European project APUSS (assessment of the performance of sewer systems) have a high degree of freedom with regard to the choice of tracer and the dosing strategy. These can lead to very different degrees of uncertainty in the measured exfiltration ratio. In this study, we demonstrate how to select an optimal experimental design using decision analysis, which accounts for this uncertainty and its associated costs. Although the results are site-specific, we can conclude generally that, when NaCl is used as the tracer, the accuracy of the exfiltration estimate is most sensitive to the amount of tracer used and the starting time of the experiment.