Unsupported Browser

We've detected an older browser version that will not give you the best experience while using The Atlas. Please consider revisitng this site after downloading one of the alternatives below.

Proactive Engineering Assessment Identifies Problems of Critical Water Main to Prioritize Repairs

Flower Mound, TX

Flower Mound suffered an uncontrolled leak and lost pressure to a third of their system for a two day period due to a valve that could not be located. This led to the development of an asset management program, which resulted in the identification of a 3.5-mile water main that needed urgent inspection.

Topics Covered

Asset Management

Cost

Initial: 499 Thousand USD

Funding

General Fund/Existing Public Funds

Project Status

Operational since 2022

Gov Champion

Utility Services Department

Problem Addressed

Utilities often use indirect methods to assume the condition of the pipeline or they replace pipes based on age rather than the actual condition.

Flower Mound wanted to ensure their management program was built around quantitative data and using the most accurate methods available. They enlisted Xylem to provide a comprehensive condition assessment of key sections of their steel, ductile iron and bar wrapped pipes in order to make data-driven and accurate decisions and improve the reliability of service within the system. The assessment was urgent, as Flower Mound planned to widen a major road next to the main, and wanted reliable information on the condition of that particular pipeline before the road was built. Any necessary repairs or replacement needed to be completed prior to construction to avoid significant disruption and additional expense.

Solutions Used

Work began by assessing the pipe wall condition, including identifying broken bar wraps in bar-wrapped pipe.

Identifying areas of wall loss allowed Flower Mound to gain a better baseline understanding of their assets and make targeted repairs where necessary. Next, the pipeline was inspected using a leak and gas pocket detection tool. The tethered tool provided real-time video footage of the pipeline as the tool moved along with the flow. Xylem then used transient pressure monitoring to record pressure in high resolution, and structural engineering analysis was used to help determine what short-term repair decisions needed to be made by analyzing the condition data collected the Engineering Assessment as a whole. Finally, finite element modeling provided a detailed analysis of defects on the overall structure of the water main. By combining these assessment methods, Flower Mound was able to identify multiple problems and act on these sections of the pipeline.

Outcomes

1

14 anomalous metallic pipe sections were identified

2

Real-time images provided of appurtenances, defects, and & mortar problems which led to the identification of a leak on a previously unknown outlet

3

Transient pressure monitoring revealed no harmful pressure surges

4

Asset integrity was maintained at a fraction of the estimated replacement cost

5

Flower Mound was able to avoid disruption to the community, defer capital replacement dollars, and focus efforts on other priorities

Something Unique

The overall pipeline configuration, which consisted of a lot of "T's" and in-line valves, and the bi-directional flow requirements of the distribution system.

Who Should Consider

Any utility interested in identifying and minimizing non-revenue water loss, or looking to better understand the structural integrity of a pipeline in order to make more knowledgable infrastructure decisions.

Last Updated

May 23rd, 2019
More Local Gov Case Studies from The Atlas Database
The Atlas case study database features examples of city projects – including both earth-moving projects and installed technologies – from around the world. You will not find proposed projects, or links to research studies and planning documents. There are 500+ member submitted case studies to browse - see related case studies to this one below:
Browse All Case Studies