Using GIS to Address Water Main Replacements


The City of Lake Forest recently began a project to help determine
the costs and effects of water main construction projects in relation to
water main breaks. Water main breaks are an issue for all communities,
and ensuring residents that the most needed areas are being repaired is
an important part of government-public relations.

The GIS department used existing data for water main breaks over the
past ten years, and coupled that with previous Capital Improvement
projects for water main replacements. Being able to visualize areas with
a high occurrence of main breaks allows engineering staff to determine
if their water main replacements were effective, as well as to target
new water mains to be repaired in the coming years.

To take the project one step further, main breaks and CIP projects
were grouped together by fiscal year and associated to their respective
wards. Costs per ward could then be determined to ensure there is a fair
distribution of funds and necessary repairs among the City’s four

The City hopes to continue this type of project in the years to come,
ensuring yearly CIP funds are meeting the needs of the residents and
City infrastructure.​