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Newport News Now

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Newport News Now is a daily e-newsletter that launched in March 2016. Articles that ran in our newsletter between March 2016 and March 2018 are available on these pages. Newsletters produced beginning in April 2018 can be viewed on our new daily newsletter page.

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Oct 26

Ever Wonder How the Waterworks Department Decides Which Pipelines to Replace?

Posted on October 26, 2016 at 8:35 AM by Communications Department

Deciding which and when pipelines should be replaced requires good sound judgment and analytical skills. Pipelines are assessed and rated in a priority system based on a wide range of criteria to determine if they will require maintenance, rehabilitation, and/or replacement.
There a few factors that help determine replacement.  Age is one factor considered, but is not always the most important. In some cases older large-diameter pipelines can have a useful life of over 150 years. Some of the other factors that are considered include: break rate, cost of repair, criticality to the system, location, type of pipe, fire protection, internal and external condition and coordination of events with other utilities and road construction projects.

Annually, the replacement candidates are grouped and categorized into the Distribution System Improvement Program. Funds are then budgeted to replace these pipelines throughout the distribution system service area. When the opportunity arises to coordinate the replacement of the infrastructure pipes with a jurisdiction’s paving operation, the pipeline moves up the list. Working together with the jurisdictions enables Waterworks to save funds and to minimize the impact to the customer.

Planning and coordinating improvement projects for the distribution system is a win/win/win for Waterworks, the jurisdiction being served, and the customers.