Predicting pipe failure effects in water distribution networks

P. W. Jowitt, Chengchao Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A practical way of assessing the impact of various pipe failure conditions on water distribution networks is described. The method avoids the need to undertake a full network analysis or simulation for each particular component failure. The method assesses the vulnerability of the network to the loss of any particular pipe element, and provides a quantitative estimate of the impact on each nodal demand, and the postfailure utilization of nodal sources and pipe elements. Implementation of the method requires only knowledge of the network configuration and a set of typical operating conditions, such as might already be available from a routine network analysis of the intact distribution network. Detailed nonlinear network analysis covering all possible failure conditions is thus avoided. In cases of networks supplied by a number of sources of differing quality, the same overall technique can also be used to determine the chemical/biochemical quality of supply at any point in the network. The results of the method can be combined with pipe failure probabilities to provide measures of network reliability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-31
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Water Resources Planning and Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1993


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