Life Cycle Analysis of Water Networks

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Abstract
Water authorities around the world are faced with the problem of ageing distribution networks and often only limited historical data on which to base a sound long term, cost efficient replacement policy. The LICAN approach to whole of life costing is introduced and a hypothetical case study is used to demonstrate the importance of such an approach. A selection of pipe networks utilizing different pipe materials (PVC, DI and PE) are modeled to determine their whole of life cost, taking into account installation, maintenance and repair costs.

Keywords: water distribution pipes, polyethylene, uPVC, ductile iron, life cycle cost of pipe

Introduction
Water authorities around the world are faced with the problem of ageing networks and often only limited historical data on which to base a sound long term, cost efficient replacement policy. Water distribution pipe networks last for decades and thus it is essential to base any replacement strategy on a life cycle basis, rather than possible short-term benefits, such as the pipe’s initial cost. However, assessing the life cycle benefits of alternative pipe type networks usually relies on detailed analysis of a utility’s existing system and many do not have the necessary data, time or indeed resources to enable such a study. A simple yet effective method for carrying out long-term life cycle analysis is required for these utilities.

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