Development of a fuzzy rule based remedial priority ranking system for contaminated sites

Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Middle East Technical University, Graduate School of Natural and Applied Sciences, Graduate School of Natural and Applied Sciences, Turkey

Approval Date: 2009

Thesis Language: English

Student: Şener Polat

Principal Supervisor (For Co-Supervisor Theses): Kahraman Ünlü

Co-Supervisor: Ayşegül Aksoy


Evaluation of contaminated sites based on human health and environmental hazards is an essential task for the proper management of the contaminated sites. A large number of contaminated sites have been waiting for remediation all over the World. However, contaminated site remediation is generally a difficult, time consuming and very expensive process. Ranking systems for contaminated sites are useful tools to determine the remedial priority and to manage the available remediation budget in the most efficient way before the costly remedial actions are taken. To be able to have a reliable ranking result, accurate and sufficient amount of data on the nature of contamination and site characteristics are needed, which are usually not available at the early identification phases of contaminated sites, and the available data is mostly limited and vague in nature. If the available data are inaccurate or vague, the corresponding remedial ranking results can be questionable, as well. Most of the current ranking methodologies overlook the vagueness in the parameter values. The main objective of this study is to develop a remedial priority ranking system for contaminated sites by taking vagueness in parameter values into account. Within this context, development of the new Remedial Priority Ranking System, RPRS, aims to define and evaluate the current and possible environmental risks by using sufficiently comprehensive readily available parameters describing the fate and transport of contaminants in the environment and considering vagueness in those parameter values. The consideration of vagueness in parameter values was included in remedial prioritization of contaminated sites by means of fuzzy set theory. A fuzzy expert system was built up for the evaluation of contaminated sites and it was developed in Microsoft Office Excel 2007 platform, with the intention of making the evaluation fast and user friendly. Hypothetical and real case study applications are presented to test ease of use and validity of the results of the developed methodology. Results of case study applications revealed that the developed RPRS can serve as an alternative method for remedial priority ranking of contaminated sites.