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Determining “End of Asset Life” for Pipe Renewal Investment Decision-Making: Why Distinctions Among Physical Life, Service Life and Economic Life Matter

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Reinvestment in America's deteriorating legacy infrastructure poses substantial financial challenges to most utilities across the country. The intent of reinvestment in our asset base is to minimize life cycle cost of sustained system performance to the stakeholder – including deferral or avoidance of the consequences of failure to customers and community (alternatively stated, “to maximize benefit to the community”). Cost effective re-investment in an asset requires an understanding of when that asset reaches its “end of life”. The end of life for an asset involves a systematic interaction among three “triggers”: service level life, physical life, and economic life. In the proposed approach, reinvestment is a decision process where the practitioner systematically determines a specific asset or class of assets which of the three triggers trips the reinvestment decision first and at what point in time. A decision flow diagram depicting the interaction of the end of life determinants is presented.

Keywords: capital investment; decision-making; economic life; end of asset life; optimized renewal decision-making; physical life; renewal; service level life

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2010

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  • 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 These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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