AbstractWater distribution systems (WDSs) are crucial urban infrastructures playing major roles in maintaining the social and economic functions of modern cities. Understanding the operation condition contributes to daily maintenance, asset management, and future planning for decision makers. This study statistically analyzes the operation condition of WDSs in a large city in China by using pipe basic and failure databases collected from local sectors. For the basic database, the distribution rules of pipe attributes, including region, material, depth, diameter, and joint type, are studied. For the failure database, the failure regions, occurrence times, types, and causes are analyzed. The relationships between failure percentages and pipe attributes are discussed, and the corresponding failure rates are calculated. The WDS is complex in the diversity of pipe materials, diameters, and joint types. Corrosion, aging, and temperature-related extreme weather are summarized as three main failure causes through the statistical analysis of the pipe failure database. Pipes with low depth, extended service period, small diameter, and hot melt joint have large failure percentages and rates. These findings demonstrate the current operation condition of WDS and contribute to failure prediction and asset management for decision makers.