American Society of Civil Engineers

The Importance of Valves to Asset Management and Pipeline Performance

by Derek B. Scott, (BSME, M. AWWA, M. ASME, Territory Manager, American Flow Control Division, American Cast Iron Pipe Company, PO Box 2727, Birmingham, AL35202-2727 E-mail:
Section: Hydraulic Design, pp. 1-8, (doi:

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Document type: Conference Proceeding Paper
Part of: Pipelines 2008: Pipeline Asset Management: Maximizing Performance of our Pipeline Infrastructure
Abstract: In the late 1980s a well known shoe and apparel manufacturer launched arguably one of the most successful marketing campaigns ever by coining the phrase "Just Do It®." The phrase became so successful in fact it appeared to take on a life of its own. Consumers were left with a basic "can do" attitude and an undeniable desire to excel at their favorite sport. By simply using the product the consumer felt he or she could achieve his or her goals. Simplicity made the campaign successful. As simple as it sounds, the tagline can be applied to valve selection and maintenance. Every year, industry sales and marketing professionals have the opportunity to visit with clients from the consulting field, as well as municipal and private utility sectors. Discussions regarding valve applications for current and future pipeline needs, although unique in application and/or location, many times share the same core obstacles. These obstacles include an aging infrastructure, budgetary constraints, dynamic growth issues and maintenance. Although individually these elements are by no means simple, a dedication to a couple of basic issues can help achieve the goal of establishing what the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) calls a sustainable infrastructure. These basic issues focus on the importance of valves during the design and maintenance of the pipeline infrastructure. This paper will address the importance of valve selection in the design process and the impact of a legitimate valve maintenance program for sustaining pipeline system assets. The significance of valve selection can be one of monumental importance. The amount of time invested in the valve selection process is sometimes relatively small compared to the time spent on other pipeline material selection. This can be due to the fact that initial valve costs are often proportionately smaller than the initial pipe material costs. This is especially true on longer pipelines. Similarly, valves can have less impact on layout and/or easement issues. The designer must take care not to let this lack of focus negatively impact pipeline design. Other factors such as convenience, or lack of time, sometimes result in valve specifications being published from a previous project without

ASCE Subject Headings:
Pipe materials