St. Louis Facing Huge Costs from Aging Water Infrastructure

"The St. Louis region doesn’t face the prospect, as Western states do, of running out of water," according to Jacob Barker. But the region is facing a water problem: "aging infrastructure and capital spending that isn’t keeping up."
August 27, 2014, 1pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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The problem of aging water infrastructure is not unique to St. Louis. See if this sounds familiar: "Local water system managers say water bills will likely have to rise over the next decade to replace the pipes, pumps and plants that in some cases are nearly 100 years old. The St. Louis region isn’t unique in that regard, but most cities are for the first time facing an aging water system that is nearing the end of its useful life."

Barker's article follows a report by the Metro Water Infrastructure Partnership, which says "the region needs to roughly double the pace at which it replaces water pipelines to reach the industry standard of a 1 percent replacement rate — fast enough to swap out each pipe by the time it hits 100 years old."

"That would cost roughly $34 million more a year. Add in the cost of maintenance and other operations, and the group expects average water bills over the next 20 years to rise to around $80 per month from roughly $30 per month."

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Published on Tuesday, August 26, 2014 in St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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