Many Water Utilities found that >50% of leakage repairs are on communication supply pipes (service pipes) and some of the activity was conducted on an ad-hoc basis. Since service pipes represented a large proportion of customer side leakage (CSL), Utilities needed a method to target leakage control activities in this area. However, as service pipe degradation and failure modes were not well understood, targeting activities is hard.
As a large proportion of service pipes are lead, understanding lead service pipe failure and the factors involved (eg. type of lead pipe, soil, age, pressure, etc) enabled a better investment focus, leading to a reduction in CSL.
The project therefore targetted these service pipes to develop a lead condition assessment procedure and then examined the implications to lead repair / replacement programmes.
Benefits to Clients
- Improved lead service pipe repair / replacement targeting to reduce leakage
- Greater understanding / prediction of lead pipe contribution to water leakage rates
- Development of a model for predicting lead pipe condition from physical, operational and environmental factors to also improve targeting of investment.