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John Hennessy III,

It’s Time to Address our Nation’s Aging Water Systems

Posted by Content Coordinator on Thursday, July 16th, 2009

“Once again the effects of corrosion upon an aging infrastructure have resulted in a catastrophic failure. Thankfully there was no loss of life…just property. On December 23, 2008, commuters in Bethesda, Maryland, were trapped in a 4-ft (1.2-m) wall of rushing water when one of the city’s 66-in (1.67-m) water mains ruptured (see The NACE Advocate article, “Maryland Legislators Call for Major Federal Investments in Water, Sewer Infrastructure”).

Consider the 155,000-plus public water systems in the United States. The average age of the water systems is 41 years, and most have a design life of 50 years. By the year 2020, 45% of all water and wastewater systems will be in poor condition and/or exceeding their designed life span.

The problem will not get better with time, so now is the time to act.

The American Water Works Association (AWWA) considers the minimum cost to replace the aging infrastructure to be $250 billion over the next 30 years. With that value in mind, the AWWA and partner agencies jointly requested that $10 billion be included in the stimulus package for water infrastructure…

It’s Time to Address our Nation’s Aging Water Systems

About NACE International
“Built upon decades of knowledge and expertise from dedicated members all around the world, NACE International is involved in every industry and area of corrosion prevention and control, from chemical processing and water systems, to transportation and infrastructure protection. NACE International is the leader in the corrosion engineering and science community, and is recognized around the world as the premier authority for corrosion control solutions.”

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One Response to “It’s Time to Address our Nation’s Aging Water Systems”

  1. Norvin Eitzen says:

    While our infrastructure is aging, we don’t need to replace ALL of it!

    Most of the water distribution network is still in good condition, we just need to find the pipes that either have leaks or will fail due to deterioration.

    Condition assessment and leak surveys are the best way maximize stimulus dollars by pinpointing the problems and rehabilitate specific sections.

    If you think about it, to replace an entire water pipeline would cost tens of millions of dollars — why not only replace the bad sections for a fraction of the cost?

    When you get a drip under your sink, do you replace all of your plumbing? Seems wasteful.

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