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System Renewal includes a wide range of repair/rehabilitation/replacement techniques that bring the pipeline system to acceptable levels of performance within budgets. The decision-making process for the proper balance of repair, rehabilitation, and replacement is a function of the condition assessment of the pipe, the life-cycle cost of the various renewal engineering (repair/rehabilitation/replacement) options, and the related risk reductions. Pipeline renewal cannot be addressed on a reactive basis. Installing a rehabilitation product is one part of a utility renewal program. Identifying the optimal renewal product requires knowledge of the relationships between key renewal decision-making factors. The unstructured process presents a challenge for educating our utility engineers on pipeline renewal.
Pipeline Renewal Engineering Technologies:
EPA states that “System Renewal includes a wide range of Repair, Rehabilitation, and Replacement techniques that bring the pipeline system at acceptable levels of performance within budgets [U.S. EPA, 2007, Innovation and Research for Water Infrastructure for the 21st Century Research Plan].” Renewal of pipeline systems is an engineering challenge when compared to infrastructure assets like bridges, dams, and buildings, because they are "out-of-sight" and "out-of-mind." There are many technologies available and under development for the repair, rehabilitation, or replacement of existing pipelines. Common renewal issues include corrosion, root intrusion, joint dislocation, tuberculation, and ground settlement. Numerous materials, installation methods, diameters, and construction practices are also in use, creating a challenge for the utility and the designer. Comprehensive system renewal is further complicated by variations in physical, chemical, geographical, technical, and condition of existing and renewed pipe. Ultimately, research in pipeline renewal engineering is required because long-term performance data are unavailable, real-world applications are risk-inherent, and large sections of the infrastructure have reached (or are nearing) their lifetimes. The determination of the range of use/limitations of various renewal technologies is complex, and detailed research is needed.