Likelihood of Failure and Cost of Failure Assessment

We’re thrilled to share that our InteliPipes case study with the City of Greater Sudbury has been published on the OECD Observatory of Public Sector Innovation Case Study Library.


With its aging drinking water network, the impact of climate change and the increasing demand for water, the City of Greater Sudbury has collaborated with CANN Forecast to improve its management of water-related infrastructures. To achieve this, a new approach, called InteliPipes, was developed, enabling the City of Greater Sudbury to:

  1. improve its understanding of the network’s degradation;
  2. adapt its inspection plans and replacement programs;
  3. optimize water main replacement.


The approach developed with the City of Greater Sudbury can be divided into two tools: probability of failure and cost of failure.

Likelihood of Failure

To calculate the likelihood of failure, a tool has been developed using artificial intelligence and machine learning. This tool is based on infrastructure data for the drinking water network, as well as historical data on breaks and work orders, provided by the City of Greater Sudbury. The probability of failure depends on the physical and structural characteristics of the watermains, as well as on the environmental and operational factors. Considering the large number of variables influencing the probability of breakage, the tool developed identifies the groups of watermains the most at risk of breaking.

Cost of Failure

Quantifying the costs associated with a breakage can be an arduous undertaking, due to the variability of direct and indirect economic, social and environmental costs. However, using previous work orders and their costs,  with the knowledge and expertise of managers and employees, it has been possible to build a human-centric model for predicting the cost of future breakdowns.


In total, the algorithm Intelipipes was able to identify 25 km of watermains with a break rate higher than 70 breaks/100 km/year, which is ten times higher than the average rate of the City of Greater Sudbury. The City of Greater Sudbury is now better equipped to improve the reliability of its drinking water network.