We have talked awhile about numbering assets, but what about water distribution pipe? Is there recommended numbering system that will uniquely identify each particular distribution pipe after it has been installed?
They’re talking about the pipe network.
So how to identify individual pieces of pipe within the network, so if you have you know, mains and laterals, number…
Numbering water distribution pipes
There was an argument in the industry because some authorities would want each, each individual piece of pipe having unique numbers.
So you start at a tee at an intersection. We come out to the valve and there’s a piece of pipe between the tee and the valve. So you want to have a number on that.
Then we go from the valve down to a junction and we want that one to be numbered. Then we go down to the next piece, the next change. So that’s one way of doing it.
The other way of doing it is to take a piece of pipe from say block to block. We will number that piece of pipe from one block to the next block.
Replacing old water utility infrastructure
Now we have had this argument go backward and forwards. The people on both sides of the argument are convinced that they’re both correct. There’s no agreed position.
Where I start with the thing is saying what do you replace?
And it’s a really interesting question – there is a subsidiary question to that – particularly with hydrants since you’ve got hydrants sitting on top of the pipe and/ or valves.
I don’t know what the asset management practices here in America, but in New Zealand when we’re replacing a block to block of a pipe, we’ll fit up new hydrants and valves as part of that replacement.
We don’t use the old ones. We might recover the old ones.
What you do is you leave the old pipe in service while you fit up the new one and get it all in and then you swap it over at the last minute.
That’s the asset management practice in our part of the world. Is it the same here?
Yes very likely if you’re replacing the pipe, typically you replace all the fittings…
Yes, at the same time. You’re not going to try to recover old fittings because that’s just like – you might like to think you’re going to do that as the Engineering Manager. I tell you for sure that guys that are doing the work won’t because that’s just too much like hard work.
So the thing is, what I say to people – if that is your practice and if you’re fitting up new when you replace, and that’s new hydrants, new valves, all new cast iron fittings, then the life of all those assets is effectively the life of the pipe.
Because you’re going to replace them effectively, either pull them out or leave them on the ground when you do the replacement of the new piece of pipe main. So, that changes your life for all those assets.
People have had very learned arguments that a valve has a hundred year life, and this pipe has 50 or 70 or it might be 200-year life or whatever.
So that’s getting your asset lives sorted.