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Dallas Water Utilities: A Risk-Based Approach to Asset Renewal

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As part of a comprehensive wastewater master planning effort, Dallas Water Utilities (DWU) has taken a proactive step towards risk-based management and renewal of its collection system infrastructure. A recently completed Asset Inspection and Renewal Strategy included the development of “first-cut” risk scores based on an assessment of the condition of the existing assets and the expected impact of any potential structural failure (criticality) of these assets. Risk scores were developed for over 100,000 individual assets in the 4,000-mile collection system. These risk scores were then used to target near-term inspection priorities and develop a 50-year forecast of renewal needs in the collection system.

The forecasted renewal needs were then integrated with a capacity-based risk analysis that was developed based on hydraulic modeling results also performed as part of the master planning effort. The result was a risk based capital improvement program that integrated structural and capacity-based risks to prioritize capital needs for the service area.

This project has positioned the City to manage its collection system assets according to risk, including targeting near-term inspection strategies and forecasting long-term expenditures over the next 50 years. Benefits of this effort to the City include:

Improved ability to forecast future renewal costs

Proactive resource and budget planning

Proactive strategy for managing capacity and structural risks

Effective tool for communicating collection system risks to City decision makers

Framework for alignment of daily O&M staff inspection activities with City's risk management policies

Roadmap for more effective data utilization and improved CIP project prioritization

This presentation will cover the rationale, challenges and benefits of utilizing a risk-based approach to asset renewal.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-01-01

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