Simulation-based life cycle cost modeling and maintenance plan for water mains

Khaled Shahata, Tarek Zayed

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Life cycle cost (LCC) is an essential approach to decide on alternative rehabilitation strategies for infrastructure systems, such as water mains. The research presented in this article identifies several rehabilitation methods for water mains, which are classified into three main categories: repair, renovation and replacement. A simulation-based LCC (SLCC) model is developed to compare different rehabilitation scenarios/alternatives for various types of water mains (i.e. cast iron, ductile iron, concrete, polyvinyl chloride and asbestos cement). Results show that 'open trench' and 'slip lining' are the most appropriate methods for the 'repair' and 'renovation' categories, respectively. However, the most suitable method for the 'replacement' category is 'pipe bursting' for pipe diameters less than 750 mm (<30″) and 'open cut' for pipe diameters greater than 750 mm (>30″). A rehabilitation plan is developed based on the SLCC results. This plan recommends repairing pipes using 'open trench' until the breakage rate reaches 0.5 breaks/km/year, then, replace the pipe beyond this threshold. Based on the designed SLCC model, web-based software is developed to determine the optimal rehabilitation scenarios. The developed model and software help academics and practitioners (e.g. municipal engineers) to predict the suitable new installation and/or rehabilitation programs as well as their corresponding costs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)403-415
Number of pages13
JournalStructure and Infrastructure Engineering
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • infrastructure
  • life cycle cost
  • models
  • rehabilitation
  • underground structure
  • water distribution systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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