And the other thing to think about is, different breaks have different criticality to a water utility.
So a small break on a side street that it’s just tricking down the road, impacting a couple of customers is not the same as a major water main break that impacts the whole town causes major traffic disruptions, hurts the road, floods out a street, causes a sinkhole.
I mean there are degrees of criticality and part of asset management is trying to figure out, which pipes are going to be critical for you.
I happened to be in Boston in 2010. Ironically enough for meeting about better managing water utilities and that’s when Boston had their major water main break and it cut off supplies to the entire city.
So that pipe to them was monumentally critical because it was supplying the entire city.
When they brought in emergency supplies they weren’t treated. So it wasn’t safe to drink and they ran their boil notice and it created major havoc within the city of Boston.
That would be very very different than a pipe that was on some side street and in Boston, it wouldn’t have that same level of criticality.
It is important to think about criticality in water utilities asset management and how that impacts things but again, I would say, think of the overall cost whether or not your utility is specifically paying it.
It’s still a holistic cost that’s associated with that break. And you want to think in a triple bottom line way of what the financial impact is, what the environmental impact is, and what the social impact is.
You know what the impacts to customers, to businesses are, to your standing as you know a prized public service.
You know, how does the public feel about you as the results of that.
So you really want to think of three ways, not just the money but the money and environmental impact and then any social impact that occurs from that particular event.
And then look at the criticality of different types of events.
PHOTO CREDIT: Boston Water Is Not Suitable by Joe Shlabotnik via Some Rights Reserved