Pipeline Rehabilitation Decision Support System
Internally funded Phani C. Polina PhD student in Computer Engineering and Computer Science
Pipeline rehabilitation and replacement represents a significant portion of the projected infrastructure needs. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, U.S. drinking water and wastewater utilities are responsible for an estimated 800,000 miles of water delivery pipelines and between 600,000 and 800,000 miles of sewer pipelines, respectively. According to the most recent EPA needs surveys, the investment needed for these pipelines from 1999 through 2019 could be as much as $137 billion. More than one-third of the utilities had 20 percent or more of their pipelines nearing the end of their useful life and for 1 in 10 utilities, 50 percent or more of their pipelines were nearing the end of their useful life. In 2001, a major water industry association predicted that drinking water utilities will face significant repair and replacement costs over the next three decades, given the average life estimates for different types of pipelines and the years since their original installation. Many drinking water and wastewater utilities defer maintenance and needed capital improvements because of insufficient funding. About one-third of the utilities deferred maintenance expenditures in their most recent fiscal year. Similar percentages of utilities reported deferring minor capital improvements and major capital improvements.