As reported in several media outlets, a water main break flooded the UCLA campus in California on Tuesday. This water main break caused more than 20 million gallons of water to spew into the street and caused massive flooding at the campus. While this caused a hassle for a lot of people and will take time to repair the damage, it has brought to light a problem that is going on all around the United States, and that is the problem of aging water infrastructure. For example, the water main that burst on Tuesday is estimated to be 93 years old.
Cities and towns all over the country are dealing with water pipes that are very old. AWWA put together a report in 2012 entitled “Buried No Longer: Confronting America’s Water Infrastructure Challenge” that points out that it will take $1 trillion over the next 25 years to repair and replace the water infrastructure that is buried in the ground right now.
It’s important for us to think about this issue since it’s one that affects each of us daily, whether we really think about it or not. We heavily depend on our water infrastructure for our public health, our fire protection and our quality of life, to name just a few. We have a variety of information available on DrinkTap to inform consumers about water infrastructure so that we all understand this issue.