Chief Investigators:  Professor Chris Chow and Professor Md Mizanur Rahman

Year commenced:  2019

Ruptured water mains are a significant and costly issue for the water industry.  Water utilities are asset-intensive organisations, and these assets need to be managed efficiently and effectively so that they can deliver the best service levels at an affordable price to customers.

Project Summary including how the problem was solved
The water supply system in South Australia is a complex network of 26,800 kilometres of pipes, with 9,000 kilometres in Adelaide alone.  Huge investment has been allocated to water main replacement and upgrades in recent years.  Our project addressed the biggest issue that water utilities face –pipe ruptures.  We identified the common causes of water main ruptures in Adelaide by analysing rupture incidents from the SA Water database, Bureau of Meteorology, Adelaide metropolitan soil data report and other open access databases. Our work identified the environmental factors related to pipe ruptures, which can now be used to predict future pipe ruptures.

Project Impact
We created a mechanism to identify high value data from the range of data being generated and collected from the asset information databases. This tool is valuable for water utilities asset planners and managers, and other operational teams, such as those who carry out maintenance work. This predictive ability is extremely useful in supporting decision-making for the pipe management program. This can lead to the development of an asset management decision support tool for pipe renewal, replacement and repair.

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