Environmental Studies Program


Date of this Version



Environmental Studies Undergraduate Student Thesis, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2021.


Copyright Carlen 2021


This thesis utilizes existing research to provide a framework that can be used for community and disaster planning. It analyses the critical process of water disinfection for drinking water. It focuses on chemical, distillation, and ultraviolet treatments in both centralized and point-of-use treatment. This thesis aims to provide a method for communities to determine the optimal water treatment, utilizing a framework based on weighted criteria. The decision-making framework is an easy-to-use and flexible process that communities can tailor for their specific needs to find the optimal treatment relative to their needs. In this study’s generalized example, ultraviolet treatment and distillation were found to be the optimal treatments for centralized and point-of-use systems, respectively. However, the distillation process, depending on how much water is purified, can require an unrealistic amount of electricity, making ultraviolet disinfection more practical. Both treatments come at a potential economic cost, but their lack of disinfection byproducts that could harm public health make them the optimal option.