Water Utility Infrastructure: Applying Risk Management Principles and Innovative Technologies to Effectively Manage Deteriorating Infrastructure

Jun 6, 2019

The maintenance of infrastructure, especially buried infrastructure, accounts for a major part of a water utility’s capital. In 2013, the ASCE Report Card for America’s Infrastructure gave the drinking water system in the United States a “D” grade. In addition, the annual State of the Water Industry survey (published by the American Water Works Association) has ranked renewal and replacement of aging water infrastructure as the most important issue for several years in a row. While buried assets continue to deteriorate, there are limited funds for renewal activities. Estimates of such a funding gap by EPA, AWWA, and others range from several hundred billion dollars to more than $1 trillion. The goal of this Focus Area is to optimize the use of condition assessment and risk management in making infrastructure renewal decisions and optimize to the use of innovative renewal techniques, such that limited funds can be focused on assets with high consequence.

 

Focus Area Objectives

  1. Increase the use and understanding of risk assessment approaches for evaluating the need for renewal of deteriorating assets, particularly pipe assets.
  2. Provide research on improvement of condition assessment technologies for evaluating the condition and possible need for renewal of deteriorating assets.
  3. Increase the use and understanding of the full range of renewal technologies and provide research on improved renewal technologies for more cost-effective asset renewal.
  4. Increase the understanding of deterioration mechanisms of different assets with an eye towards extending the life of these assets and improved condition assessment and renewal technologies.
  5. Aid the field testing and case study documentation of condition assessment and renewal techniques to better establish the value of these techniques.

 

Focus Area Project Timeline and Value

Managing Infrastructure Risk: The Consequence of Failure for Buried Assets

  • Timeline: 2013–2015
  • Total Project Value: $1,014,762
  • Focus Area Objectives: Risk Assessment, Condition Assessment 

Practical and Visual Guide to Common Pipe Failure: Understanding and Classification of Pipe Failures

  • Timeline: 2014–2017
  • Total Project Value: $168,330
  • Focus Area Objectives: Risk Assessment, Condition Assessment

Potable Water Pipeline Defect Condition Rating

  • Timeline: 2014–2017
  • Total Project Value: $541,567
  • Focus Area Objectives: Risk Assessment, Condition Assessment, Extend Asset Life

Guidance and Strategies for Determining When it is Cost Effective to Use Condition assessment Technologies on High-Consequence Water Mains

  • Timeline: 2014–2016
  • Total Project Value: $370,700
  • Focus Area Objectives: Risk Assessment, Condition Assessment, Cost-Effective Renewal, Field Testing & Case Studies

High Consequence Isolation Valve Placement and Operation for Effective Risk Management of Pipe Failure

  • Timeline: 2015–2019
  • Total Project Value: $375,421
  • Focus Area Objectives: Risk Assessment, Field Testing & Case Studies

Retrofit and Management of Metallic Pipe with Cathodic Protection

  • Timeline: 2016–2019
  • Total Project Value: $434,433
  • Focus Area Objectives: Risk Assessment, Effective Renewal, Asset Life, Field Testing & Case Studies

Practical Condition Assessment and Failure Probability Analysis of Small Diameter Ductile Iron Pipe

  • Timeline: 2016–2019
  • Total Project Value: $268,900
  • Focus Area Objectives: Risk Assessment, Condition Assessment, Technology, Asset Life, Field Testing & Case Studies

Case Study Compilation on applying Risk Management Principles and Innovative Technologies to Effectively Manage Deteriorating Infrastructure

  • Timeline: 2016–2019
  • Total Project Value: $250,000
  • Focus Area Objectives: Risk Assessment, Condition Assessment, Technology, Asset Life, Field Testing & Case Studies

Future Project - Case Study/Economic Analysis: Nessie Evaluation vs. Condition Assessment and Practical Management: Impacts on Infrastructure Funding Gap

  • Timeline: 2016–2019
  • Total Project Value: TBD
  • Focus Area Objectives: Risk Assessment, Condition Assessment, Cost-Effective Renewal, Field Testing & Case Studies

Future Project - Small-Diameter Unlined Cast Iron Pipe Practical Condition Assessment and Management

  • Timeline: 2016–2019
  • Total Project Value: TBD
  • Focus Area Objectives: Risk Assessment, Cost-Effective Renewal, Extend Asset Life, Field Testing & Case Studies

Future Project - Corrosion Pitting of CIP/DIP: Statistical Modeling and Evaluation of Corrosion Patterns

  • Timeline: 2016–2019
  • Total Project Value: TBD
  • Focus Area Objectives: Risk Assessment, Technology, Extend Asset Life

Cumulative Value of Focus area Research (to date): $3,424,113

 

Projects Funded Outside of the Focus Area Program that meet a Focus Area Objective

Key

Environmental Impact of Asbestos Cement Pipe Renewal Technologies

  • Year Completed: 2015
  • Funding Program: EPA Grant
  • FA Objectives: Cost-Effective Renewal, Extend Asset Life, Field Testing & Case Studies

The Assess-and-Fix approach: Using Non-Destructive Evaluations to Help Select Pipe Renewal Methods

  • Year Completed: 2015
  • Funding Program: EPA Grant
  • FA Objectives: Risk Assessment, Condition Assessment, Cost-Effective Renewal, Extend Asset Life, Field Testing & Case Studies

Development of an Effective Asbestos Cement Distribution Pipe Management Strategy for Utilities

  • Year Completed: 2015
  • Funding Program: TC
  • FA Objectives: Risk Assessment, Condition Assessment, Cost-Effective Renewal, Extend Asset Life, Field Testing & Case Studies

Durability and Reliability of Large Diameter HDPE Pipe for Water Main Applications

  • Year Completed: 2015
  • Funding Program:EPA Grant
  • FA Objectives: Condition Assessment, Cost-Effective Renewal, Extend Asset Life, Field Testing & Case Studies

State of the Science: Plastic Pipe

  • Year Completed: 2016
  • Funding Program: Facilitated
  • FA Objectives: Condition Assessment, Extend Asset Life

Leveraging Data from Non-Destructive Examinations to Help Select Ferrous Water Mains for Renewal

  • Year Completed: 2017
  • Funding Program: TC
  • FA Objectives: Condition Assessment, Cost-Effective Renewal, Extend Asset Life, Field Testing & Case Studies

Advanced Condition assessment and Failure Prediction Technologies for Optimal Management of Critical Water Supply Pipes

  • Year Completed: 2017
  • Funding Program: Partnership
  • FA Objectives: Risk Assessment, Condition Assessment, Technology, Cost-Effective Renewal, Extend Asset Life, Field Testing & Case Studies

Development of Integrated Master Planning and Condition assessment: a Road Map for Utilities

  • Year Completed: 2018
  • Funding Program: TC
  • FA Objectives: Condition Assessment, Technology, Extend Asset Life

 

Key

TC = Tailored Collaboration

Project Status

Year Initiated: 2011 

Year Completed: 2018

 

TAC Members

Peter Gaewski

Jeff Leighton, Portland Water

Dan Smith, Water District No. 1 of Johnson County

Nalaka Vitharana, Linkwater, Queensland, Australia

Shanna Whitelaw, Metro Water Services

Yvonne Forrest, Houston, TX.