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US Will Need $1T to Fix Water Pipes

Industry estimate sees steep costs over next 25 years
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 29, 2012 5:03 PM CST
US Will Need $1T to Fix Water Pipes
The US may need $1 trillion over the next 25 years to fix degenerating drinking water pipes.   (Shutterstock)

The US could be facing a $1 trillion plumbing bill. That's how much it will cost over the next 25 years to mend or replace the disintegrating pipes that carry drinking water throughout cities and build new ones to accommodate a rising population, according to an industry study. And that's not including wastewater pipelines, which might tack on another trillion, reports the Huffington Post.

The problem is that the US water main infrastructure is reaching the end of its lifespan and decaying rapidly. "We've known for a long time that pipe networks are aging," says an executive with the American Water Works Association. "We didn't appreciate the magnitude of the challenge. The size of the need was startling even to water professionals." Unlike highways, the payment for fixes will not come from taxes but directly from consumers in their water bills. (More water stories.)

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