Water Distribution Systems: A Spatial and Cost Evaluation

by Robert M. Clark, (M.ASCE), Chf.; Drinking Water Research Div., Municipal Environmental Research Lab., Environmental Protection Agency, Cincinnati, Ohio 45268,
Cheryl L. Stafford, Research Geographer; Drinking Water Research Div., Municipal Environmental Research Lab., Environmental Protection Agency, Cincinnati, Ohio 45268,
James A. Goodrich, Research Geographer; Drinking Water Research Div., Municipal Environmental Research Lab., Environmental Protection Agency, Cincinnati, Ohio 45268,


Serial Information: Journal of the Water Resources Planning and Management Division, 1982, Vol. 108, Issue 3, Pg. 243-256


Document Type: Journal Paper

Abstract: Problems associated with maintaining and replacing water supply distribution systems are reviewed. Some of these problems are associated with public health, economic and spatial development of the community, and costs of repair and replacement of system components. A repair frequency analysis has been completed for distribution system maintenance events (leaks and breaks). The economic implication of various replacement strategies and the effect of water quality (corrosivity) on water loss and system cost are examined. This analysis is based on the data acquired from tne large (260 mgd; 11.39 m³/s) and one smaller (20 mgd; 0.88 m³/s) water utility. As this study shows, once a length of pipe begins to require maintenance, its maintenance rate increases exponentially. Maintenance costs soon exceed the costs of replacement. Therefore establishing a timely maintenance and replacement program is extremely important from an economic and public health viewpoint.

Subject Headings: Water supply systems | Maintenance | Public health and safety | Economic factors | Water quality | Spatial distribution | Frequency analysis

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