Skip to main content

Overview of Infrastructure Asset Management A View from Both Sides of the Atlantic Oceani

Buy Article:

$17.50 plus tax (Refund Policy)

Or sign up for a free trial


Europe and the United Kingdom (UK) are at the forefront of Asset Management for water utilities. This is primarily due to the fact of privatization of water utilities in the UK. The UK is currently in the third generation of the Asset Management procedures and has well defined methods for identifying and managing assets. In the United Kingdom (UK), large scale Asset Management has been practiced for approximately 20 years when computer modeling and pipe inspection techniques allowed the current performance and impact of potential improvements to water or sewerage networks to be evaluated for whole systems.

As the industry understanding of the asset base has grown in the UK, so has the variety and application of risk based techniques to aid investment decisions on rehabilitation and replacement decisions. Asset Management and associated risk based techniques are now considered to be standard business practice for utility infrastructure owners and engineers and are well entrenched in the utility infrastructure culture. In the UK, Asset Management practices have contributed to significant savings in capital expenditure through the efficient identification of far more selective work programs, and moreover, have resulted in a savings in operational cost, a consequence of which staff levels have dropped by some 25% over a decade.

Several asset management techniques employing risk elements are within the toolkit of most UK water companies and which help to inform decision support for investment prioritization of critical or vulnerable water supply assets such as trunk mains, protection against raw water contamination, dam safety, environmental protection, capital maintenance and plant reliability and selection.

In the United States (US), it is a different story. There are a number of forms that Asset Management takes in the US including SSES Programs, Infiltration / Reduction Programs, Capital Improvement Programs and CMOM, flow monitoring, SCADA Systems, etc., but very few public utility infrastructure owners have a true Asset Management Program in place. Furthermore, Risk Assessment as used in the UK is now only beginning to be understood and used in the US. The Risk Assessment in the US is done in terms of Criticality of the system components and the effects it will have on the users and public in general should the component of the system go off line. In the US, Risk Assessment is generally not used for investment decisions when it comes to Capital Improvement Programs, but is beginning to be used in the Operations and Maintenance of the systems. This paper will review Asset Management practices in the United States and in the UK, and compares the two sets of practices. The review will also identify key business and technical practices, how Asset Management is perceived by the owners on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, and will identify lessons learned from the UK for the North American utility infrastructure owners and engineers.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2006-01-01

More about this publication?
  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

    A subscription to the Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation includes access to most papers presented at the annual WEF Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC) and other conferences held since 2000. Subscription access begins 12 months after the event and is valid for 12 months from month of purchase. A subscription to the Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is included in Water Environment Federation (WEF) membership.

    WEF Members: Sign in (right panel) with your IngentaConnect user name and password to receive complimentary access. Access begins 12 months after the conference or event
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Membership Information
  • About WEF Proceedings
  • WEFTEC Conference Information
  • Learn about the many other WEF member benefits and join today
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more