The presence of residual chlorine and organic matter govern the bacterial regrowth within a water distribution system. The bacterial growth model is essential to predict the spatial and temporal variation of all these substances throughout the system. The parameters governing the bacterial growth and biodegradable dissolved organic carbon (BDOC) utilization are difficult to determine by experimentation. In the present study, the estimation of these parameters is addressed by using simulation-optimization procedure. The optimal solution by genetic algorithm (GA) has indicated that the proper combination of parameter values are significant rather than correct individual values. The applicability of the model is illustrated using synthetic data generated by introducing noise in to the error-free measurements. The GA was found to be a potential tool in estimating the parameters controlling the bacterial growth and BDOC utilization. Further, the GA was also used for evaluating the sensitivity issues relating parameter values and objective function. It was observed that μ and kcl are more significant and dominating compared to the other parameters. But the magnitude of the parameters is also an important issue in deciding the dominance of a particular parameter. GA is found to be a useful tool in autocalibration of bacterial growth model and a sensitivity study of parameters.

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