5.3 Consequence of Failure

After you determine the likelihood of failure of each asset, it is important to determine how bad a failure would be. This determination of consequence of failure involves the consideration of several tangible and intangible factors:
  • Cost of repair/replacement
  • Social impacts or costs
  • Environmental impacts or costs
  • Costs or impacts related to collateral damage caused by the failure
  • Legal costs associated with asset failure
  • Public health impacts or costs
  • Reduction in Level of Service
  • Any other costs or impacts related to the asset failure






The consequence of failure can be high if any of these costs or impacts are significant or if there are several of these factors that might occur with a failure. Further discussion of each of these factors is presented below.

Financial Cost of Repair: When an asset fails, it will be necessary to repair or replace the asset. Depending on the type of asset and the extent of the failure, repair may be simple or extensive. A small leak in a pipe can be repaired with a clamp. A chlorine pump can be replaced with a spare pump or perhaps the parts can be replaced inside the pump. The failure of a well may be much more involved and may require much more extensive repair efforts. Some failures may be so severe, or repairs may be so expensive that asset replacement is required. The financial cost of the repair or replacement of the failed asset must be considered in the analysis of the consequence of failure. If the asset can be repaired easily and without a tremendous cost, then there is a lower consequence. If the cost of repair is higher, then the consequence of the failure is also greater.