Failure of street pavements resulting from underground water pipeline breaks

Jean Pierre Bardet, Tat S. Fu, Craig A. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The aging and deterioration of water distribution systems in cities worldwide result in more frequent water main breaks, dramatic pavement failures, and flooding damage. This study examines the consequences of water main breaks, especially the failure of street pavements caused by the pressure of leaking water and the erosion of pipe bedding. It accounts for various types of pressure releases and encompasses abrupt to slow water discharges. It also considers the formation of cavities under street pavements caused by longstanding leaks. Although simplified, the study covers many geometries and properties of pipes and bedding materials in urban infrastructures. By estimating the consequences of water main breaks, the analysis intends to prompt more proactive infrastructure asset planning. 2014

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E525-E538
JournalJournal - American Water Works Association
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Pavement failure
  • Water distribution systems
  • Water main breaks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Water Science and Technology

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