Preliminary Earthquake Mitigation Planning to Improve Watermain Performance in Vancouver, B.C.

by Duane B. Ford, ConCeCo Engineering Inc, Sacramento, United States,
George N. Bratton, ConCeCo Engineering Inc, Sacramento, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Lifeline Earthquake Engineering


City of Vancouver's water transmission and distribution system is vulnerable to over 1,000 pipe leaks or main breaks from a probable large earthquake (about 7.5 M). Cast iron piping comprises 80 percent of the system. Facts regarding the potential of earthquake damage include tables and figures on lifeline components, causes of ground failure during earthquakes, Vancouver's piping inventory, earthquake pipe fragility curves, a summary estimate of probable earthquake damage to various piping materials, and suggestions for improving earthquake preparedness and water lifeline performance. In its preliminary planning effort, Vancouver's Waterworks Engineering Branch was provided a simple approach to quickly assess water system vulnerability. It recognized the potential of larger earthquake events (8 to 9 Mw). This information helped the city staff gain approval and funding from the city council for more detailed planning, design and new construction projects. Strides toward mitigation of the earthquake hazard and improvements in preparedness and performance of water supply and fire suppression facilities are in progress. To estimate the probable credible earthquake, a basic history of the geology and seismicity of Vancouver and the Pacific Northwest was collected. Appraisal of seismicity and geological features was vital in predicting potential water utility damage from earthquakes and in recommending preparatory steps toward mitigation.

Subject Headings: Earthquakes | Water supply systems | Water pipelines | Water supply | Urban areas | Seismic tests | Seismic effects | Vancouver | British Columbia | Canada | Pacific Northwest | United States

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