Understanding pipe failure is essential for effective asset management. Buried drinking water pipes are exposed to several types of external loads, e.g. soil weight, loads due to soil settling differences and traffic loads. The hypothesis that traffic loads positively affects the number of failures was statistically tested. For three out of four studied water companies significant higher failure frequencies than average were found at road crossings. Frequencies equal to average were found for pipes which are installed under other road sections. Frequencies higher than average–but not statistically significant–were found around speed bumps. The results of the multiple regression analyses show that the overall contribution of the parameter ‘road classification’ to pipe failure is small compared to the influence of pipe diameter, pipe material and year of installation.

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