An analysis of the potential impact of climate change on the structural reliability of drinking water pipes in cold climate regions
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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The climate is changing worldwide. For the northern hemisphere there are distinct challenges related to climate change. It is expected that temperature on a general basis will increase within the next 100 years, and that the increase will be most severe during winter months. The literature shows a correlation between temperature and failures. This correlation is most evident for smaller grey cast iron pipes, and for pipes which is constructed in trenches vulnerable to frost heave. A comprehensive amount of failure data (over 25,000 failures) has been gathered from Norwegian cities in order to quantify the correlation between temperatures and failure rates. The analysis supports the findings in the literature, by establishing a statistical significant correlation, which states that failure rates increase with falling temperatures. At the same time, the expected increase in future temperatures has been used to analyze the impact on failure rates within 2070. The results show that the increasing temperatures will have a positive effect on failure rates. It can be expected that failure rates will be reduced by 2.7% to 7.2% within 2070, depending on the climate scenario.