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Failure of street pavements resulting from underground water pipeline breaks (PDF)

  • Author(s): Bardet, Jean-Pierre; Fu, Tat S.; Davis, Craig A.
  • Publications: Journal - American Water Works Association
  • Issue Date: December 2014
  • Volume / Number: 106, Number 12
  • Page(s): E525-E538
  • DOI:
  • Product Number: JAW_0081067
Full Text: pdf

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The aging and deterioration of water distribution systems in cities worldwide result in more frequent water main breaks, dramatic pavement failures, and flooding damage. This study examines the consequences of water main breaks, especially the failure of street pavements caused by the pressure of leaking water and the erosion of pipe bedding. It accounts for various types of pressure releases and encompasses abrupt to slow water discharges. It also considers the formation of cavities under street pavements caused by longstanding leaks. Although simplified, the study covers many geometries and properties of pipes and bedding materials in urban infrastructures. By estimating the consequences of water main breaks, the analysis intends to prompt more proactive infrastructure asset planning.

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