Magazine article ASEE Prism

Pipes in Peril

Magazine article ASEE Prism

Pipes in Peril

Article excerpt

Three years ago, a report by the American Society of Civil Engineers said a funding crisis and an aging water network were combining to create a water-service crisis in the United States. If investment for needed fixes isn't forthcoming over the next 20 years, it warned, America "risks reversing the environmental, public health, and economic gains of the last three decades." Now a new investigation by the Associated Press finds that, if anything, things are getting worse. Many cities and regions rely on water systems built 70 to 100 years ago, while some pipes date to the 19th century. They need replacing, the AP says, and the costs will be astronomical. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says it could cost $384 billion over 20 years to replace pipes and build or repair thousands of water plants. The American Water Works Association pegs the costs even higher, at $1 trillion over 25 years. …

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