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A State of Urgency: Expanding Pipe Ratings for Sewer Pipe Triage

A State of Urgency: Expanding Pipe Ratings for Sewer Pipe Triage

Buss, Robert, and G. Ishida
Published In: 
Water Environment & Technology,  
February 2015
Out of sight, out of mind” has been the normal approach in thinking (or not thinking) about buried underground sewer infrastructure, at least until there is a collapse in the street, the public is affected, and the unseen is revealed. The Albuquerque Bernalillo County (N.M.) Water Utility Authority experienced this phenomenon in the early 1990s with the sudden and seemingly random collapse of large-diameter sewer pipelines in various areas of its collection system. Collapses of the authority’s large interceptor pipes in major roadways occurred again in March and April 2011, and again in May and June 2012. A careful evaluation of these collapses pointed to aging pipes whose useful lives had been reached or exceeded. Staff predicted that these collapses were only the beginning; more pipes would fail unless steps were taken to rehabilitate or replace them. The water authority’s solution was to select a methodology that takes a thorough inventory of the condition of interceptors using risk-based, asset-management principles.
​Buss, Robert F., and G. Ishida. 2013.  "A State of Urgency: Expanding Pipe Ratings for Sewer Pipe Triage." WE&T. Volume 25, Number 7, pp: 39-42.