Jump to main content.


  White Paper on Improvement of Structural Integrity Monitoring for Drinking Water Mains (58 pp, 3.11 MB) (EPA/600/R-05/038) March 2005

The improvement of water main structural integrity monitoring (SIM) as an approach for reducing high-risk drinking water main breaks and inefficient maintenance scheduling is explored in this white paper.

Inadequate SIM for water mains can lead to repair, rehabilitation, or replacement. A postponed response could cause serious deterioration, main breaks, or associated consequences. Conversely, if the response is too early, inefficiencies in system maintenance priorities and economics can occur. Existing SIM technologies inadequately characterize various combinations of pipe materials, configurations, and failure modes. Fortunately, substantial research to improve SIM is underway or planned, but mostly for high-risk, nondrinking water applications.

A systematic effort by EPA and other federal agencies, in cooperation with relevant stakeholders, is recommended to identify, prioritize, and capitalize on opportunities to accelerate SIM capability improvement. Research in this area is especially important because:

  • For the next 30 years, our aging water mains will require increased attention
  • Multiple technology transfer, collaboration, and leveraging opportunities exist
  • SIM capability improvement takes time


Michael Royer

You will need Adobe Reader to view some of the files on this page.
See EPA's PDF page to learn more.

Office of Research & Development | National Risk Management Research Laboratory

Local Navigation

Jump to main content.