Monday, April 13, 2015

More Diversions Ahead - the future Cost for Maintaining Infrastructure

The bills keep coming, the roads keep being torn up and the disruptions will mount. And this is from the failure of water and sewer pipes that's a hundred years old and from a time when we had compact reasonable towns and cities.

Wait until sprawl infrastructure will begin to fail. The vast unreasonably spread out suburban network of pipes and lines that is characteristic of post war America. Some of it is over 60 years old now as well and beginning to fail. Until this will fully hit we haven't see anything yet.
"There are between 700,000 and 800,000 miles of public sewer mains in the United States. Many of these pipes were installed after World War II, meaning they are now approaching the end of their useful life. Capital investments in those pipes account for between 80% and 85% of all wastewater system investment requirements in the United States". (ASCE report card 2013)
Only 10-15% of those needs have been met in past years. Massive investment increases are needed. Citizens will see higher water and sewer fees everywhere.

Baltimore and the older inner ring suburbs are still fully engaged in the previous battle, the battle with 100 year old pipes and a consent decree with EPA:
"Baltimore shall implement a maintenance program for the Collection System, including its gravity sewer lines, force mains, Pumping Stations and other appurtenances (e.g., manholes, pressure sewers, inverted siphons, meter vaults), to provide for the proper operation and maintenance of equipment while minimizing failures, malfunctions, and line blockages due to the lack of adequate preventative care." (from Baltimore City/EPA Consent Decree)
Governor Hogan's shadow boxing about the stormwater management fees touches only a small fraction of the gigantic cost of getting stormwater, sewer and water systems up to date. Unfortunately he is fighting in the wrong direction.

Klaus Philipsen, FAIA

Links to the topic:

Baltimore County's water fees to increase 15%
Baltimore City Sewer Repair Consent Decree, DPW Fact Sheet, Consent Decree Text
Baltimore Sewers: Time-bombs Under Buried under the Streets
America's Infrastructure Report Card

Diversions ahead: The mounting cost of keeping infrastructure woorking

Digginp up the streets will soon spread to the suburbs: Aging pipes need to be
lined, replaced, or fitted with new inverts

No comments:

Post a Comment