The bursting of large-diameter water pipelines in distribution systems will lead to industrial, economic, and public safety impacts. Therefore, multi-criteria analysis (MCA) was applied in this study, which utilizes a series of quantifiable parameters to establish the mathematical method of a risk model. The risk matrix of a pipeline was defined as the multiple of the probability of pipeline failure and potential consequences of pipeline failure. By combining the GIS (geographic information system), each evaluation unit was assigned to different risk levels. The large-diameter (above 800 mm) pipeline length statistic for various risk evaluation units of Taiwan Water Corporation reveals the length of high risk is 171 km (7.7%), secondary high risk 574.6 km (25.8%), middle risk 714.3 km (32%), low risk 701.5 km (31.5%), and the unranked length is 67.8 km (3.0%). Finally, the detection frequencies were classified as high risk with a term check of every five years, sub-high risk with planned check every five to ten years, medium risk with checking/monitoring if needed, and low risk with quick repair and no need to take measurements and monitoring. Therefore, we can significantly lower the probability of bursting for large-diameter pipelines in the water distribution system.

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