An ecological risk assessment methodology for screening discharge alternatives of produced water

Mukhtasor, Tahir Husain*, Brian Veitch, Neil Bose

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Previous studies on Ecological Risk Assessment (ERA) of produced water relied on the use of deterministic hydrodynamic models. The assessment was usually carried out in the North Sea context using a model such as the Chemical Hazard Assessment and Risk Management (CHARM), or in the North American context based on the output of a hydrodynamic model such as the Cornell Mixing Zone Expert System (CORMIX). In both these cases, however, probabilistic analysis has not been employed, particularly, to account for uncertainty associated with hydrodynamic models in the ERA study. In fact, it is the hydrodynamic model that has a direct linkage to the selection of the discharge alternatives. Apart from the monitoring purposes, in this article, it is suggested that criteria for evaluating discharge alternatives of produced water in a marine environment might incorporate an awareness of ecological risks by incorporating engineering and toxicological aspects. An ERA methodology consisting of problem formulation, analysis, and risk characterization is discussed in light of evaluating the discharge alternatives. A probabilistic analysis using Latin Hypercube Sampling (LHS)-based Monte Carlo (MC) simulations was employed. A depiction of associated risks for an area comparable to a regulatory mixing zone of typical effluent discharges is presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)505-524
Number of pages20
JournalHuman and Ecological Risk Assessment (HERA)
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2004


  • Ecological risk assessment
  • Latin Hypercube Sampling
  • Monte Carlo
  • Outfalls
  • Produced water
  • Wastewater discharges


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