A Monte Carlo model, based on the Quantitative Microbial Risk Analysis approach (QMRA), has been developed to assess the relative risks of infection associated with the presence of Cryptosporidium and Giardia in drinking water. The impact of various approaches for modelling the initial parameters of the model on the final risk assessments is evaluated. The Monte Carlo simulations that we performed showed that the occurrence of parasites in raw water was best described by a mixed distribution: log-Normal for concentrations > detection limit (DL), and a uniform distribution for concentrations < DL. The selection of process performance distributions for modelling the performance of treatment (filtration and ozonation) influences the estimated risks significantly. The mean annual risks for conventional treatment are: 1.97E−03 (removal credit adjusted by log parasite = log spores), 1.58E−05 (log parasite = 1.7 × log spores) or 9.33E−03 (regulatory credits based on the turbidity measurement in filtered water). Using full scale validated SCADA data, the simplified calculation of CT performed at the plant was shown to largely underestimate the risk relative to a more detailed CT calculation, which takes into consideration the downtime and system failure events identified at the plant (1.46E−03 vs. 3.93E−02 for the mean risk).

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