Development Of A True-cost Concept For Renewal Of Municipal Underground Pipeline Systems

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Development Of A True-cost Concept For Renewal Of Municipal Underground Pipeline Systems

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Title: Development Of A True-cost Concept For Renewal Of Municipal Underground Pipeline Systems
Author: Abraham, Dennis
Abstract: Asset management principles for underground pipeline infrastructure (UPI) are used by municipalities for efficient delivery of water, wastewater, and storm sewers. Due to budget constraints and limited resources, municipalities need to improve their operations, utilizing an optimum cost to provide their asset management services. Life cycle costs (LCC) include the total cost of facility ownership taking into account all capital costs, operation and maintenance costs, and renewing or disposing costs. Asset management costs include the maintenance and renewal portion of LCC. The main objective of this research is to develop asset management strategies with consideration of all the cost factors that include the concept of True Cost (TC). True Cost includes design, construction, operation, and maintenance as well as municipal administrative costs which are not usually considered part of the life cycle costs. Infrastructure is the biggest expense and income driving potential for any city or municipality. However, visible infrastructure which includes roads, alleys, sidewalks and storm inlets are inspected and responded to more quickly than the hidden infrastructure that includes water lines, sanitary sewer lines and manholes. The reason for this discrepancy is that cities address issues which are reported by its visibly-oriented citizens, plus, political entities gain public recognition by addressing visible issues. Unfortunately, the hidden infrastructure gets ignored or does not get addressed in time to get the best value from the final investment. The result is that cities spend more to fix the problem, thereby elevating their TCs.The TC concept for this dissertation includes the sanitary sewer portion of the UPI and utilizes asset management data from construction, maintenance, and administrative costs. This information was collected from three municipalities in the North Texas area. Since TC is typically not accounted for in municipal environment, an overall understanding of True Cost will help municipalities and stakeholders determine the actual cost of the underground infrastructure. This will enable them to make better budgeting decisions when addressing deteriorating and failing infrastructure. This research has developed a frame work to calculate municipal administrative cost, and thereby TC, which can be used by. cities as a tool. This dissertation also explores some of the factors affecting TC in a municipal environment. These factors include theoretical asset management, use of hot spots in geographical information systems, failed management of sanitary sewer systems which include benchmarking, and municipal social costs.
Date: 2012-04-11

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