Aging Water Infrastructure Should be a Top of Mind Concern


Unlike fine wine, good cheese, or superb art, water infrastructures do not improve with age… they gets actually worse, much like any mechanical systems. In fact the state of our water system today in America can compromise the quality of drinking water.   While an older or aging water delivery infrastructure may not be at the top of today’s issues in the United States, maybe it should be. Safe, clean, drinking water is a precious resource and should not be taken for granted… and it mostly is. Aging Water Infrastructure Should be a Top of Mind Concern

How Serious is the Issue?

According to the San Jose Mercury News, 850 billion gallons of wastewater finds its way into public drinking water supplies each year! The reason for this STAGGERING breach is due to an inadequate or aging water infrastructure and water systems. This unbelievable amount is the equivalent of 13.6 trillion glasses of water.

Based on an analysis by the EPA, the United States water infrastructure systems require over $500 billion in maintenance and new capital investment before 2020. That’s ONLY four years from now.  With this scope and scale of a problem, it is inevitable that some of this contaminated water will end up in our taps.

Last year, CNN presented a report that an average of 700 breaks in water mains occur each year across the country! The expose’ warned that this was an obvious symptom of an aging water infrastructure (many systems are over 100 years old), which will results in a lot more than an inconvenience and property loss, but a real public health threat. According to Eric Goldstein, from the National Resources Defense Council, any time the seal of the system carrying water into your home is broken, there is a risk of contamination from viruses and bacteria. Health issues can vary from simple gastrointestinal issues through an increased risk of developing serious illnesses such as cancer.   

So What Can Be Done?  What Can You Do?

There are numerous initiatives on the table today, such as the Aging Water Infrastructure program, which promotes the development of new technologies and promising R&D research to lower the cost of wastewater collection and increase its effectiveness. Obviously such a massive problem will require a great deal of investment, which will take time and the political will of everyone in the decision making chain from both the public and private sectors, not to mention all of us as tax payers.

Until then, there are certain steps homeowners can take RIGHT NOW to ensure that their water supply is safe and clean. These measures include installing a domestic water treatment system. These systems filter drinking water to remove contaminants and eliminate harmful bacteria.

A good system can turn potentially contaminated tap water into clean, fresh water, which will be safe for the entire family to consume. Although this may seem like an extravagant expense, with the frequent boil water alerts being issued around the country and concerns about water quality, this type of system can provide the necessary reassurance that you and your family are protected from the potential health hazards associated with contaminated water.

If you are concerned about the immediate threat to you and your family, you should ask yourself if you are prepared to wait for the government to prioritize the immense expense needed to fix municipal systems and the aging infrastructure throughout the country. In the current economic and political climate, it may not be possible for the government to completely or even adequately improve the water infrastructure as promptly as needed. So, rather than wait around and inadvertently consume potentially harmful contaminants and toxins, you may wish to consider investing in a good quality water treatment solution.

About The Author, Terry Reeh, EcoWater Systems of Nebraska:

With more than 25 years experience in the residential and commercial water treatment space, Terry is a WQA (Water Quality Association) certified water specialist, LEVEL 3, as well as a WQA certified sales representative.  EcoWater Systems of Nebraska is one of the biggest water treatment and water delivery businesses in the state, Terry currently sits on EcoWater Systems (a Berkshire Hathaway Company) national Peers committee, as a water treatment expert advising other water professionals with less experience on best trade and technology practices.

Back to top