Using limited data to assess future needs

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Journal titleJournal (American Water Works Association)
IssueJuly 7
Pages4761; # of pages: 15
SubjectPipes and pipelines
AbstractMost major urban utilities or municipalities are currently aware of the need to keep records of watermains within their distribution systems. These records would typically include data such as watermain break history, pipe material, pipe vintage, soil type, etc., that would eventually be used to allocate budgets for the replacement/rehabilitation/repair of the ageing distribution system, based on objective and rational criteria. In reality, many urban utilities have incomplete or scarce relevant watermain data, which may make the financial planning task difficult. Consequently, there is a need for a methodology that facilitates the usage of scarce available data to assess the future needs of the utility to invest in the renewal of deteriorated watermains. A case study is presented in which a methodology comprising four essential steps was applied. These steps include (1) partition data on watermain breaks into homogeneous groups so that reliable predictions for future breaks could be established for regions of the water utility where available data was insufficient, (2) establish breakage rate patterns for these groups to project future breakage rates, (3) use projected breakage rates to determine the economic life of watermains, (4) examine some probabilistic scenarios of the distribution of watermain life, and (5) determine the investment required for watermain replacement.
Publication date
AffiliationNRC Institute for Research in Construction; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedYes
NRC number42499
NPARC number20331245
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Record identifier66879e90-d62b-4b6a-bdc1-09018a51e6bb
Record created2012-07-18
Record modified2016-05-09
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