Date of Award

Spring 1982

Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Crandall, Clifford

Second Advisor

Zanoni, Alphonse E.

Third Advisor

Murphy, William


Aging water distribution systems of our cities will be one of the major public works infrastructure problems of the 80's and beyond. Buried water mains fit the old saying, "Out of sight --- Out of mind," unless, of course, that water main has failed and water is bubbling out in the street, possibly causing ice buildup, damage to private property, and the inconvenience of having water shut off for several hours. There are many factors which contribute to causing water main failures besides the aging of the systems. It is the intent of this thesis to discuss these various causes of water main breaks and to apply this state-of-the-art discussion to three case studies. Hopefully, this application will shed light on the problem of water main breaks and will help place it in a proper perspective. Although the intricate interrelationship of causes of water main breaks sometimes clouds the issue, it is clear that the water works industry must take an aggressive stand against the problem of water main breaks. Whether it means extensive main replacement, additional construction inspection, improved repair procedures, improved corrosion protection, or other method of attack against the problem, water supply agencies should be prepared to spend money, management, and manpower. The bottom line for each water supply agency should be cost-effective, uninterrupted water supply.



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