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"Run to Failure" approach for water main pipelines?

  • 1.  "Run to Failure" approach for water main pipelines?

    Posted 11-02-2022 03:58

    Hi all,

    Last month a posted a question on Physical Condition Assessment practices

    Found here: Physical Condition Assessment Practices for Water Utilities Assets | Ask-NAMS-Canada (

    As follow up with the post, I just learned that the current practice we have is to run the waster main pipelines to failure before replacement is considered, meaning that until the cost of repair, water loss, and revenue loss is higher than the cost of pipeline replacement, then the pipeline section is considered for replacement.  (Obviously, this type of approach is No-go for the Oil & Gas industry for example, where environmental impact of a leak is much higher), however I do not justify not to have a proactive approach in the Water Utility industry, our case.

    The Asset Management position was created here just 6 months ago, and as you know Asset Management is about being proactive, but obviously, what we are doing currently is not a proactive practice.  We have around 950 Km of pipeline in about 20 different systems/networks and the best data I could find on frequency of pipe breaks are about 7 breaks per year from 2016 onwards, and the oldest pipeline section of 16" Cast Iron pipe is about 55 years old.


    Is anyone else out there taking this approach? Or had the same approach before trying to implement and Asset Management System? How was your journey switching to a proactive approach ? 



    Rence Rincones
    Manager, Asset Management
    Moose Jaw SK