The New York Times Looks at Crumbling Urban Sewer Infrastructures

Julie Slavet
Mar 17, 2010

Here is another great article in the New York Times’Toxic Waters series. This time, Charles Duhigg takes a look at the cost of replacing crumbling urban sewer and water infrastructures in cities like Washington, DC. He notes that:

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.

The article explores how many people take their water infrastructure for granted, and rate increases have been fought tooth-and-nail in cities around the country, including Philadelphia. The article ends with this powerful quote: “This is the fight of our lifetimes. Water is tied into everything we should care about. Someday, people are going to talk about our sewers with a real sense of pride.”

Read the whole article here.

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