U.S. Water Infrastructure Given ‘D’ Grade by ASCE Group
The U.S. drinking water and sewage infrastructure earned a barely passing grade of D from the American Society of Civil Engineers today, which said at least $1 trillion is needed to fix the problem.
The ASCE in its quadrennial Report Card for America’s Infrastructure said the drinking water infrastructure improved slightly, to a D from an almost failing D- in 2009, even as U.S. pipes and treatment plants near the end of their expected lifespan. With almost 240,000 water main breaks a year, it would take more than $1 trillion to repair and replace systems, the report said, citing the American Water Works Association.
Almost 14,000 of the country’s 84,000 dams that help provide water and power were rated “high hazard,” with the average age of an American reservoir 52 years. The report said the U.S. needs to spend about $298 billion over the next 20 years to repair and expand wastewater and stormwater systems, whose grade improved marginally from a D- to a D.
“The grades are in and the nation’s drinking water and wastewater infrastructure is still in a poor state,” said Chief Executive Officer Jeff Sterba of American Water Works Co., the largest publicly traded U.S. water company. “If it were a student, such ongoing marginal performance would not be acceptable.”
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