Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE)

Document Type

Master's Thesis




Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Lindell Ormsbee


In recent years, water utilities have placed a greater emphasis on the reliability and resilience of their water distribution networks. This focus has increased due to the continuing aging of such infrastructure and the potential threat of natural or man-made disruptions. As a result, water utilities continue to look for ways to evaluate the resiliency of their systems with a goal of identifying critical elements that need to be reinforced or replaced. The simulation of pipe breaks in water reliability studies is traditionally modeled as the loss of a single pipe element. This assumes that each pipe has an isolation valve on both ends of the pipe that can be readily located and operated under emergency conditions. This is seldom the case. The proposed methodology takes into account that multiple pipes may be impacted during a single failure as a result of the necessity to close multiple isolation valves in order to isolate the “segment” of pipes necessary to contain the leak.

This document presents a simple graphical metric for use in evaluating the performance of a system in response to a pipe failure. The metrics are applied to three different water distribution systems in an attempt to illustrate the fact that different pipe segments may impact system performance in different ways. This information is critical for use by system managers in deciding which segments to prioritize for upgrades or replacement.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)