Estimation of water pipe installation construction costs

Ronson Chee, Kevin Lansey, Erickson Chee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


With the nation currently experiencing record droughts and water shortages in the western and southwestern states, the importation of water via large-diameter pipe transmission systems from distant more reliable sources is becoming a viable option. As drought conditions worsen, engineers and water planners will need efficient cost models to plan and design these large water transmission systems. To address these challenges, a Water pipe installation COnstruction CoST Estimation model (WaterCOSTE) has been developed to estimate the installed pricing for various pipe materials and diameters under a wide range of bury and embedment conditions. TheWaterCOSTE model uses a bottom-up pricing approach commonly used by contractors to estimate installed pricing for high-density polyethylene (HDPE), PVC, ductile iron, and steel water pipe. WaterCOSTE is used to estimate installed pricing for a potential large-scale real-world water transmission project in northeastern Arizona. Pipe material cost and pressure class are found to be significant cost factors, followed by embedment type, soil type, and bury depth. A cost comparison based on pressure class was performed for the candidate materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number04018008
JournalJournal of Pipeline Systems Engineering and Practice
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2018


  • Bottom-up cost estimation
  • Cost estimation
  • Cost model
  • Pipe material selection
  • Pipeline construction cost
  • Pipelines
  • Water supply cost estimation
  • Water transmission system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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