Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE)

Document Type

Master's Thesis




Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Lindell Ormsbee


Water distribution system utilities must be able to maintain a system’s assets (i.e., pumps, tanks, water mains, etc.) in good working condition in order to provide adequate water quantity and quality to its customers. Various asset management approaches are employed by utilities in order to make optimal decisions regarding the renewal of system components. Part of a good asset management approach is performing a comprehensive risk analysis which consists of considering all potential ways in which the system may fail, the likelihood failure of for each scenario, and the consequences of said failure. This study investigates a water distribution system’s risk of failure due to both acute transient events (e.g., pump trip) and standard pressure fluctuations due to daily system operations. Such an analysis may be useful in optimal decision making such as asset monitoring, scheduling of condition assessments or system renewal projects, policy implementation, and investment priorities in order to keep the utility’s total costs at a minimum. It may also be useful as a precautionary measure to help prevent catastrophic failures such as large main blowouts for which the utility would incur substantial costs, both direct and indirect.

As part of this thesis, a database of water distribution system models is used to analyze the effects of an acute transient event for different system configurations. The database was created at the University of Kentucky and has been made available to the research community to test newly developed algorithms for various studies including optimal system operations and optimal system design.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)