Life-Cycle Costs of PCCP Maintenance

Project ID: 20059
Principal Investigator: Matthew Jermyn
Research Topic: Condition Assessment
Funded Fiscal Years: 2020 and 2021
Keywords: None

Research Question

Reclamation maintains an extensive network of PCCP assets which require periodic condition assessment and maintenance throughout their service life. Corrosion of these assets leads to an impairment in the structure's function and expensive repairs. All degradations reduce reliability, with the worst-case scenario being a catastrophic failure. The periodic costs associated with the condition assessment and maintenance of PCCP assets represent an ever-increasing proportion of Reclamation's and/or the managing Water District's operation and maintenance budget, including an ongoing program out of Reclamation's Office of Policy to conduct electromagnetic (EM) inspections on PCCP. Although many factors, including risk of failure, go into the need for a robust condition assessment plan, there is an outstanding question on the economics of conducting periodic inspections and repairs versus waiting for the pipe to fail and performing an emergency replacement. This study will take a purely economic look at that question and complement ongoing research in the technical and practical side of condition assessment (see project 7108 in Previous Work).

This research employs economic techniques, specifically life-cycle cost analysis (LCCA) to investigate the costs associated with performing periodic condition assessment and repairs throughout the service life of Reclamation-owned PCCP assets. Understanding the life-cycle costs of condition assessments will improve budgeting and expose opportunities to increase efficiencies.

The proposed research will look at the cost of two PCCP asset management scenarios:
1) Condition assessment and maintenance of the PCCP asset at prescribed intervals throughout service life.
2) Operation of a PCCP asset without condition assessment or maintenance until eventual failure in service, prompting an emergency repair.
Site-specific factors can vary widely and have a significant impact on the cost of both scenarios; some of

Need and Benefit

Through use of economic analysis of condition assessment and repair costs, Reclamation will improve their budgeting and decision-making abilities related to managing PCCP assets.

Contributing Partners

Contact the Principal Investigator for information about partners.

Research Products

Bureau of Reclamation Review

The following documents were reviewed by experts in fields relating to this project's study and findings. The results were determined to be achieved using valid means.

Economic Analysis of Prestressed Concrete Cylinder Pipe Maintenance (final, PDF, 1.7MB)
By Matthew Jermyn
Report completed on September 30, 2021

This research product summarizes the research results and potential application to Reclamation's mission.

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Last Updated: 6/22/20