Critical mains analysis provides a means of measuring the importance of a pipe within the water network. The scoring criteria is based on the impact of a pipe in the event of a failure, considering the number of customers that are isolated and the number of customers experiencing low pressure.
Analysis is typically performed twice, once assessing the short term impact of a failure, and the second pass is used to understand the medium to long term resilience of the system through rezoning. Additional weighting can be applied to those pipes with poor resilience.
Innovative developments in the modelling software now allow water companies to quickly ascertain the importance of each pipe using network models. This enables water companies to prioritise mains laying or rehabilitation schemes, optimise their capital spending budgets and minimise the impact of failure on the customer.