Evaluation of consequence of failure for water pipelines using surface water modeling

Karl San Luis, Amin Ganjidoost and Craig Daly


As water escapes from the water pipeline it flows as surface water runoff with the potential to develop localized flooding when the flow of water released from the pipeline overwhelms surface water drainage systems. Water may continue flowing from the pipe following isolation until the section of pipe between the shutoff valves and at elevation greater than the leak point is emptied. For large pipes with great distances between valves this can be a considerable amount of water. This paper proposes a methodology to estimate the damages arising from a pipe failure caused by the discharged water. The pipe failure simulation utilizes surface water modeling to determine the flooding area caused by a large diameter pipe failure. This surface water runoff results in flooding nearby buildings that has the potential to submerge structure and contents of a building resulting in property damages. These damages which are often paid by a water utility after a pipe failure are functions of the number and type of buildings flooded and the depth of the flood. Flood damage costs associated with a pipe failure also include traffic and business disruptions. This paper considers the property damage and business disruption caused by the flooding after a pipe failure. The cost of the business disruption depends on the flooding location and the affected businesses. By modeling surface water runoff estimating the potential damages, the consequence of a pipe failure is better represented compared to a qualitative approach where the use of spatial distance and pipe attribute information is commonly used. Case studies are presented which simulate different scenarios depending on the urban setting, the intensity of the pipe break, and the emergency response time of the water main break.

 Click here to download a static PDF version of the presentation.

Permanent link: