Decision support tool

System assessment

Hazard analysis

The aim of the hazard analysis is to identify possible hazards and to assess the suitability of existing measures in controlling them.

For toxic cyanobacteria this includes an inventory of evidence of their occurrence and also the water body conditions, which may lead to their occurrence, as well as barriers in the drinking water abstraction and treatment, which should prevent break-through into the distributed drinking water.

First, experience-based knowledge about the occurrence of cyanobacteria in the water body, e.g. data about phytoplankton or cyanotoxin occurrence, as well as about the water body, its catchment, the water abstraction and the treatment should be checked. At this point, site inspection is crucial, as indications of vulnerable points, e.g. possible nutrient inputs from the catchment, can show up.
Thereafter the collected information is evaluated whether it is a sufficiently sound basis for decision-making or if further gaps in knowledge have to be filled in – i.e. this is an evaluation of the uncertainties based on existing information. As a general rule, the more precisely the hazard analysis is performed, the more robust your result will be!