Cost of Replacing Antiquated Sewage Systems can no longer be ignored
Municipal water systems across the U.S. have been repaired, patched and mended for decades, but funding for significant upgrades have been repeatedly ignored, mainly because of the substantial rate hike it will impose on consumers. This problem cannot be ignored much longer because the contamination rate of the public water supply by leaky sewers is skyrocketing. The EPA's National Drinking Water Advisory Council is duly concerned, and Tufts University professor and EPA advisor Jeffrey K. Griffiths observed “We’re relying on water systems built by our great-grandparents, and no one wants to pay for the decades we’ve spent ignoring them.”
George S. Hawkins, Washington D.C.'s new Utility Chief, realizes he is facing an uphill battle because people are willing to pay more for luxuries than clean tap water. “You can go a day without a phone or TV. You can’t go a day without water,” he explained in a recent interview. There are municipal solutions being tested, however, like the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District's Deep Tunnel project, which has drawn its own share of criticism but has significantly decreased the yearly sewage overflows from sixty to two.