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UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of ten of America's presidencies and who has edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. We get over 5 million article visits a year. See prorev.com for full contents of our site

March 16, 2010

URBAN AMERICA'S HUGE UNDERGROUND COSTS

NY TIMES - A significant water line bursts on average every two minutes somewhere in the country, according to a New York Times analysis of Environmental Protection Agency data.

In Washington alone there is a pipe break every day, on average, and this weekend's intense rains overwhelmed the city's system, causing untreated sewage to flow into the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers.

State and federal studies indicate that thousands of water and sewer systems may be too old to function properly.

For decades, these systems - some built around the time of the Civil War - have been ignored by politicians and residents accustomed to paying almost nothing for water delivery and sewage removal. And so each year, hundreds of thousands of ruptures damage streets and homes and cause dangerous pollutants to seep into drinking water supplies.

In many cities, residents have protested loudly when asked to pay more for water and sewer services. In Los Angeles, Indianapolis, Sacramento . . . proposed rate increases have been scaled back or canceled after virulent ratepayer dissent.


1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

In my city, Montreal, the Public Works Department made it clear over 20 years ago that about 25% of the water leaving the filtration plant never made it to the tap. The amount that the city has put into major renovations, though large on paper, is inly a spit in the bucket. on the one hand, water is not in short supply, Montreal being in the middle of the Saint Laurence River. But it is a hell of a waste.

Politicians know that there is no glamour in cutting a ribbon at an underground ceremony...

In the last couple of years the City has now set a capital fund on water which is expected to grow seriously over time.

March 16, 2010 9:48 PM  

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