At first glance, you would not expect a relatively young water distribution system consisting of 90-percent ductile iron pipe to be a strong candidate for proactive watermain replacement. With a break rate well below the national average, the Westerville distribution system would seem to be behaving well on the surface. But with a break rate that has been rising steadily since 2006 and suspicions of pockets of bad soil that are accelerating pipe corrosion, the City decided to address the issue before the impacts to customers become significant.
Utilizing its own GIS pipe attribute data and break database, as well as state-of-the-art failure forecasting software that predicts break rates on a pipe-by-pipe basis, the City has identified the riskiest pipes in its network and prioritized them for replacement, with implementation already underway. This proactive management strategy is expected to reduce breaks and the associated impacts, providing customers with a more reliable supply of drinking water.