Selecting an Economical Water Main Rehab

by Thomas W. Walski, (M.ASCE), Research Civ. Engr.; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Waterways Experiment Station, Vicksburg, Miss.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1984, Vol. 54, Issue 9, Pg. 68-70

Document Type: Feature article


Many miles of aging water mains exist with carrying capacities that are less than half of what they were when new. Engineers must, therefore, stretch every dollar to eliminate deposits that form on the pipe's inside walls. The problem worsens as the pipes age. The consequent loss in carrying capacity results in higher pumping costs, less water flow for fire fighting and the increased likelihood of bacterial regrowth inside the pipes. The problem can be solved by a combination of installing new pipes and tanks and cleaning and lining old mains. The most economical cleaning and lining processes and the tradeoffs involved are examined. In general, cleaning and lining projects should focus on larger pipes with few service connections and obstructions in areas in which excavation will not be expensive.

Subject Headings: Pipe cleaning | Pipes | Linings | Economic factors | Water supply systems | Rehabilitation | Load bearing capacity | Walls

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