Replacement water lines require $1 trillion


A report issued by the American Water Works Association estimates the need of $1 trillion within the next 25 years to replace worn water systems that are reaching the end of its use. The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC), which serves Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, reports that 26 percent of its 5,600 miles of water main are more than 50 years old. The WSSC’s spokesperson Lyn Riggins reports 41 miles of water main will be replaced this year and by 2015, the utility company plans to replace 55 miles. This construction will cause household water bills to rise, specifically in areas that are currently dealing with pipe failure.

In a report titled, “Buried No Longer: Confronting America’s Water Infrastructure Challenge,” it warns that “The level of investment required to replace worn-out pipes and maintain current levels of water service in the most affected communities could in some cases triple household water bills.” CEO of WSSC Jerry Johnson said, “Every day we are working on plans not only to ramp up the number of miles we can replace, but how to pay for it.” According to the report, if the replacement projects get delayed, the problem will become more expensive and the pipes will be worse.


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