Water main failure can result from structural failure of the pipes, changes in water quality, or a combination. This paper is a review of articles evaluating water quality factors and subfactors in the development of water main failure prediction models since 2000. A systematic process was implemented to capture the most relevant current published papers. Of 4598 published papers, 304 were screened for water main failure prediction models. The resulting set was further screened for water quality factors and subfactors (e.g., pH, temperature, etc.). This led to the identification of 18 relevant research papers, and each of these was reviewed comprehensively. The water quality-related findings, as well as combinations with other information – such as type of prediction model and type of prediction – are summarized and discussed.


  • Summary of water quality factors for use in condition assessment of water mains based on a comprehensive literature review.

  • Impact of water quality factors on water main failures, considering pipe material.

  • Relationship between water quality factors and other model parameters, type of failure prediction model, and output.

  • Water pH is the most frequent water quality factor in water main failure prediction models.

Graphical Abstract

Graphical Abstract
Graphical Abstract
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