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Search for ‘hot spots’ reveals new approach to repairs
Even if there isn’t a major disruption when a water pipe breaks under the road, there will likely be hassles when it’s time to fix it.
Knowing emergency repairs can be a headache — especially when they happen in front of your home — Denver Water is always looking for ways to improve the repair process.
As part of Denver Water’s program to track and examine infrastructure conditions and needs, we recently analyzed about 630 breaks in our service area since 2013. Using locations, type of pipes, installation years and other data, we pinpointed “hot spots” with at-risk water mains.
These spots include neighborhoods on the west end of Centennial that have experienced 18 breaks in two years, over a 12-mile span. That’s more than three times the number of breaks as the rest of our service area. So we seized this opportunity to devise a new scheme. Instead of only upgrading pieces of “bad” pipe speckled throughout the water distribution system, the pipe replacement team can concentrate efforts on one area.
This spring crews began taking the new approach, which will replace about 60,000 feet of pipe throughout the targeted 12-mile zone east of South Broadway along Arapahoe Road over the next two years.
Knowing the work is cumbersome for the short term, crews are coordinating their efforts and communicating with residents before the disruptions occur.
The reward? Denver Water anticipates this new strategy will allow us to concentrate our resources on larger areas, which should reduce the odds of a main break in a community where we just worked.