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The field reliability test conducted in the real operation conditions is the basis of water networks
unreliability assessment. This kind of tests has being conducted in Poland for over 35 years.
The latest results of the tests for water networks in the biggest cities in Poland have been
presented in this report. Data concerning failures of the pipelines in these cities have been
gathered in the Geographical Information Systems. The unit intensity of failures (failures/km
year) was used for pipeline unreliability/reliability assessment. This kind of index is very useful
for assessment and reliability/unreliability of different pipelines comparison. In particular the unit
intensity of failures allows the preliminary assessment of pipelines technical state, which
facilitates making decision about renewal of pipelines. This kind of index plays a very important
role in the decision making procedure of material selection to network construction. Analysis of
the intensity of failures values from the last 10 years of networks operation period showed that
Polish networks unreliability decreased close to 3 times. Although the progress of failures
intensity of of Polish networks is much higher than intensity of failures of networks in many
European countries. The influence of the main factors i.e. instability of ground, values and
variability of the water pressure in network, as well as pipeline material on failure frequency of
the water network was also presented in the paper.