This is the Headline
Municipalities and water utilities in the U.S. are struggling to make upgrades due to budgetary restraints, even as their water and wastewater
infrastructure is deteriorating. In the meantime, utilities make
pipe repairs until a long-term solution can be financed and
implemented. The question of when it makes the most financial sense to replace pipe versus repair it is not a simple one to
answer. The short term costs of repairing pipe may seem like
an attractive option to keep costs low but at a certain point,
repeated repairs aren’t economical.
So, when does it make sense to repair pipe rather than to
replace it? And when replacement is the answer, what can be
done to ensure it’s done properly and the project is kept on
time and on budget?
There are three major items to consider when thinking
about whether to repair or replace pipe.
Cost: At a certain point, the costs involved in making repeated repairs outweigh the costs to replace the pipe. This
includes the cost of parts and expenses involved in closing up the work area once the repair is completed. If utility crews are repeatedly visiting the same section of pipe,
this is the first clue that the pipe may need to be replaced.
While a repair can solve a problem in the short term, there
could be higher costs and service interruptions in the long
Complaints: The reality is that customers often dictate
when and what kind of response a utility will take when
water or wastewater problems arise in their neighborhood.
If service to homes and businesses is not reliable, customers
are going to expect a solution that is dependable and minimizes interruption of their service.
Data: It’s never too late to start gathering data. Develop
Fix it? Or Nix it? BY DOUG RISEDEN
Make sure that your work schedule is realistic. It should be fair to customers and contractors who will expect that the project is completed as scheduled.
Deciding When to Repair or Replace Pipe