Work with error features

When an error feature is created, an associated dirty area is also created, which encompasses the feature geometry. Error feature descriptions can help you understand what caused the error. Error features can be inspected and fixed by editing the feature geometry for evaluation the next time the network topology is validated or enabled.

Error features

The Point Errors and Line Errors feature classes manage all error features for a trace network. These feature classes are sublayers of the trace network layer and cannot be edited. When you add a trace network to an active map view, the sublayers are available in the Contents pane.

Error feature sublayers

Error feature management

Errors result from enabling or validating a network topology. To fix an error feature, the associated network feature or features must be corrected. Error features are created for a variety of geometry-related reasons, from identifying empty geometries to highlighting coincident point features.


Error features that do not prevent connectivity from being established between features are traversable in a trace operation when the Validate Consistency option is not enabled.

The table below describes the errors, situations that produce them, suggested actions for resolving each error feature, and the type of error feature or features that are generated. In the Solution column, Option 1 is often the most useful and has the least impact. However, some options depend on other factors, so the first option may not always be the best for your particular case.

Error IDDescription and situationSolutionError feature type


The geometry for the network feature is empty.

Option 1: Inspect the Origin Network Source ID and Origin Global ID of the error feature to identify the associated feature in error. Delete and re-create the feature.

An error feature is created in the lower left corner of the spatial extent for each feature with empty geometry. After corrections are made, ensure all dirty areas are validated.

Point or Line


Line feature has length within tolerance.

The length of a linear network feature is too short and fits within the network tolerance. For example, the network tolerance is 1 meter and a line in the network is 90 centimeters.

Option 1: Adjust the length of the line feature.

Option 2: Adjust the network tolerance. (Admin)



Geometry error—Could not locate the vertex along the line feature.

The network topology cannot get the list of vertices associated with a linear network feature.

Option 1: Rerun the Validate Network Topology tool.

Option 2: Delete the vertex, rerun the Validate Network Topology tool, and create another vertex if necessary.



A linear network feature is multipart. Multipart features are not allowed.

Option 1: Modify the feature so it is not multipart.

Option 2: Delete the line and re-create it.



Self-intersecting line. This can occur in cases where a linear network feature loops back and overlaps itself at the intersection of two vertices.

For example, a valid looped pipe has missing z-values.

Option 1: Place a vertex on each line segment at the point of intersection. Adjust the z-value for each vertex to add vertical space between the lines.

Option 2: Split the line into single features.



Duplicate vertices. A linear network feature has multiple vertices existing in the same x,y,z location or within the network tolerance.

For example, a canal ditch has missing z-values. This could also be encountered in cases where a line has fewer than two vertices.

Option 1: Offset one of the vertices (x and y or z).

Option 2: Delete one of the vertices.



Two or more points are geometrically coincident. For example, a gauge and a well have the same x,y,z coordinates.

Option 1: Offset one of the points (x and y or z).

Option 2: Delete one of the points.



Error setting network attribute values.

This occurs when the Flow direction network attribute contains a value that exceeds the 4 bits reserved in the network topology.

Change the attribute value to fall within the range of allowable values for the coded value domain.


Access error feature attributes

To access error feature classes, the trace network layer must be available in the Contents pane. If it is not, add it to the active map from the Catalog pane.

  1. Expand the Trace Network layer in the Contents pane.
  2. Right-click the Point Errors or Line Errors sublayer.
  3. Click Attribute table to open the attribute table associated with the layer.

See the table below to understand the values in the table.

Understand error feature attributes

The following table lists the fields in each error feature class, a description of each, and example values.

Error table attributes

Field aliasDescriptionExample value

Object ID

The object ID of the error feature.


Origin network source ID

The source ID of the origin feature participating in the error situation.


Origin global ID

The global ID of one of the features participating in the error situation.


Destination network source ID

The source ID of the other feature participating in the error situation.


Destination global ID

The global ID of the destination feature participating in the error situation.


Error type

A numerical value associated with the error.


Error text

An explanation of the error.

Stacked point features

Global ID

The global ID of the error feature.


Shape or Shape length

Shape is present for points. Shape length is present for lines.

Point Z

Polyline Z