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DECISION-SUPPORT TOOLS FOR PREDICTING THE PERFORMANCE OF WATER DISTRIBUTION AND WASTEWATER COLLECTION SYSTEMS
Stone, S. J., E. Dzuray, D. Meisegeier, A. Dahlborg, AND M. Erickson. DECISION-SUPPORT TOOLS FOR PREDICTING THE PERFORMANCE OF WATER DISTRIBUTION AND WASTEWATER COLLECTION SYSTEMS. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/600/R-02/029 (NTIS PB2003103052), 2002.
Water and wastewater infrastructure systems represent a major capital investment; utilities must ensure they are getting the highest yield possible on their investment, both in terms of dollars and water quality. Accurate information related to equipment, pipe characteristics, location, site conditions, age, hydraulic rates, and water quality is critical to industry and municipalities to enable the most cost-efficient operation, maintenance, and rehabilitation of existing systems. This report summarizes information on European efforts to optimize operation, maintenance, and rehabilitation activities related to water distribution and wastewater collection systems. The report includes a description of: the capabilities and the data required to run eight pipe assessment software applications or models, the infrastructure performance indicators used by three European water authorities, and an approach to collect the necessary performance indicator (PI) data, based on our assessment of the European experience.
Based on the review and analysis of European research and product literature related to the use of models for rehabilitation management, there does not appear to be a widespread use of modeling applications in Europe. Each model presented in this report has been applied in selected urban or rural water services but not on a large national scale. UtilNets is the most comprehensive model. It contains capabilities to model pipe failures, water quality, and rehabilitation scenarios. However, it is only in the prototype development stage. The concept of modeling the impact of pipe failures on water quality and using that information for rehabilitation planning has not yet been implemented in practice. Only the EPAREL/EPANET and UtilNets models have integrated a water quality module.
Data collection costs associated with using models are high; accordingly, water services must avoid the collection of unnecessary data. The minimum data elements required by the models to develop a prioritized list of pipes based on risk of failure include: pipe material, pipe age, section length, number of breaks or bursts, and diameter. Additional information such as location, date and nature of last break, type and cost of rehabilitation options, and type of customers that would be affected by a service interruption, is necessary if managers are to assess the impact of different rehabilitation scenarios.
Spatial analysis plays an important role in rehabilitation planning since the research shows that a significant number of failures appear in geographic clusters. However, only four of the models (i.e., AssetMap, Gemini VA, KureCad and UtilNets) integrated a geographic information system (GIS) user interface.