September 2016, Vol. 71 No. 9


Life Cycle Cost Assessment Tool Developed For Utility Decision Makers

University of Michigan researchers have developed a life cycle cost assessment (LCCA) tool for use by utility decision makers to evaluate both economic and environmental impacts on water pipelines throughout their service lives. The tool allows for different pipe sizes, flows and locations, providing a framework for analyzing various operations and scenarios.


“It is important to consider more than one factor in selecting a pipeline material,” said Carol C. Menassa, Ph.D., University of Michigan Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, and lead researcher of the project. “With this new tool, the true value of the pipe, as an asset, can be understood, allowing for investment to be made in a good way.”


Results of the study indicate that while PVC pipe may have initial cost benefits, Ductile Iron Pipe is the more cost-effective material over the pipeline’s service life. Other findings show that Ductile Iron Pipe has a lower environmental impact, based both on the production and operation phases of the alternatives, and the rate of pumping across all pipe diameters has the highest impact on cost.


Ductile Iron Pipe Research Association (DIPRA) sponsored the research project and, along with various associations, provided literature review for the LCCA model. Data for the LCCA model was obtained from various participating U.S. utilities.

(201) 402-8700,

Related Articles

From Archive


{{ error }}
{{ comment.comment.Name }} • {{ comment.timeAgo }}
{{ comment.comment.Text }}