Study of the suitability of existing deterioration models for water mains

Yong Wang, Osama Moselhi, Tarek Zayed

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


Deterioration of water mains causes serious problems in major urban communities worldwide. This paper presents the findings of a recent study conducted on pipe-break data in an effort to identify and categorize the key factors that contribute to the deterioration of water mains and examine the applicability of existing deterioration models for water mains in representing actual field conditions. The data used in this paper were collected from a municipality that has a large water distribution network in Canada. The collected data cover 15-year pipe break records of 432 km of water mains. Unlike the common thought by practitioners, the performed analysis reveals that water mains of long lengths do not necessarily have more breaks compared to those of short lengths. The analysis performed using existing models shows that they provide poor representation and inadequate explanation for the deterioration of water mains. The research findings presented in this paper are expected to be useful to academics and practitioners (municipal engineers, consultants, and contractors) in analyzing deterioration trends of water mains.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-54
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Performance of Constructed Facilities
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Buried pipes
  • Deterioration
  • Infrastructure
  • Water distribution system
  • Water pipelines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality


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