An integrated assessment approach to prevent risk of sewer exfiltration

Khalid Kaddoura, Tarek Zayed

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Regular inspection, assessment, and rehabilitation are necessary to maintain the performance levels of sewer pipelines. The primary objective of this research is to develop a causality-based model by incorporating twenty-two sewer defects, including erosion voids. The Decision Making Trial Evaluation Laboratory (DEMATEL) was used to study the causality relationship between the defects, based on a designed questionnaire, to conclude the influencing and influenced distress. The results suggested that 59% of the sewer structural and operational defects were influencing ones. Besides, the existing state of the sewer pipelines was evaluated on a scale from 1 (Excellent) to 5 (Critical) by integrating the DEMATEL technique with the Quality Function Deployment (QFD) method. The QFD-DEMATEL model was implemented on a case study to compare the model's classifications of the pipelines’ states with the actual ones. Based on the comparison, the average accuracy and true negative rate (TNR) of the classifications were 74% and 79% respectively. Also, the average invalidity percentage (AIP) was 41.32%, causing the validity percentage to exceed 50%. The integrated approach keeps decision-makers informed about their sewer pipelines to prioritize pipelines rehabilitation. Thus, defective sewers are reduced and so are the exfiltration cases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)576-586
Number of pages11
JournalSustainable Cities and Society
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018


  • Condition assessment
  • Decision-making trial evaluation laboratory (DEMATEL)
  • Exfiltration
  • Quality function deployment (QFD)
  • Sewer pipelines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Transportation


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