Buried No Longer



Buried No Longer® is an online economic forecasting tool for pipe repair and replacement. Utilities enter data and the tool provides cost estimates under a base model as well as with financial deferrals built in. The output data can be broken out by pipe size or pipe material categories.

Utilities enter data and the tool provides cost estimates under a base model as well as with financial deferrals built in. The output data can be broken out by pipe size or pipe material categories.

  • For both water and wastewater systems
  • Includes options to capture backlogs and deferred maintenance impacts
  • Provides custom, actionable data based on the utility’s unique asset inventory
  • Generates charts ideal for presentations to the board and other decision makers
  • Supports national assessment of infrastructure needs

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Getting Started

Here's What Buried No Longer® Users Have to Say:

"The BNL tool offers utilities a cost effective resource to develop a valuable 20-30 year outlook on their community’s drinking water and/or wastewater repair and replacement needs. We found results from BNL to be closely aligned with our custom asset inventory model developed with significant consultant support and resources."     - John Sullivan, Chief Engineer, Boston Water & Sewer Commission

"The BNL tool is useful in assisting small/medium sized utilities that may be struggling to communicate capital planning, deferred maintenance, and asset management with local policy leaders and the public. The flexibility in the data inputs, such as decade profiles, is very helpful in supporting systems with limited inventory documentation to benefit from BNL."     - John Alston, Water/Sewer Operations Superintendent, City of Bozeman Water Department

"At first we were skeptical, but have found great benefit to our capital program from gathering inventory data about our system to generate a consolidated profile. The outputs generated by BNL have been a tremendous visual communications tool to support the maintenance and investment needs facing our system.     - David Rager, Former CEO, Northern Kentucky SD1

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Data You Will Need to Use the BNL Tool 

There are several basic categories of data that you will need to enter into the tool. Those include: 

  • System basics, including system size by population and expected growth rate 
  • Average cost of replacement and repairs 
  • Current (representative) total annual spending by pipe material type on replacement and repairs
  • System pipe inventory by pipe type, size category and year (or decade) of installation 

The tool was designed to require a minimum amount of data to produce replacement and repair projections. However, some utilities have found that the tool may require gathering existing data in one location for the first time (such as when putting together a pipe inventory by year and pipe material for the first time), or organizing data in slightly different ways (such as the first time to estimate the average cost of replacement or repairs by the size categories used in the tool). This may take some up-front effort, but it has been seen that this effort will be useful not only for this tool but also generally for understanding the utility’s current inventory and current spending to maintain that inventory. 

The data used for this tool do not need to be perfect, especially on a first pass using the tool. Utilities should enter the data that they have to get an idea of how the output might look for their utility. Then it is recommended that the utility can fill in the gaps or refine data in later rounds of using the tool to improve the view of the utility’s replacement and repair needs.

How the BNL Tool Works
The Buried No Longer tool uses the data each user inputs to calculate and project future expenditures (given current utility practices) that are personalized to each utility’s specific situation.  

Outputs from the BNL Tool

The Buried No Longer tool generates 29 different graphical outputs that can assist a utility with communicating a complete profile of their unique buried infrastructure needs. The output options generally include:

The BNL tool also has the capability to users to enter a Deferral Case that has the same output graph options as outlined above, except that they show the effect of deferring replacement and repairs due to budgetary or other restrictions, and the spending necessary to catch up on replacement and repair needs once the deferral period is over.

  • Projections of Utility Spending on Replacement over time (different graph options, including stacked or comparative views of projected replacement by pipe material or size category)
  • Projected Replacement Miles per Year
  • Projected Expenditure Per Capita on Replacement
  • Projections of Utility Spending on Repairs over time (given projected replacement) (different graph options, including stacked or comparative views of projected repairs by pipe material or size category)
  • Projected Service Interruptions per Mile (Repairs per Mile)
  • Projected Expenditure Per Capita on Repairs
  • Total Costs (total projected Replacement, Repairs, and Preventative Maintenance over time)
  • Mains Investment Profile Over Time, By Material Type or Pipe Size Category