Monday, February 6, 2012

HOW old?

We've asked this question before, finally some answers. 

YOU don't want to hear them, but YOU can't afford not to.

Read about the 119 year old water lines in Fort Worth.  In the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Water pipelines- Age of pipe by decade

Unknown: 296.3 miles

1910: 5.3 miles

1920: 60.1 miles

1930: 25.5 miles

1940: 116.7 miles

1950: 347.5 miles

1960: 265.7 miles

1970: 298.9 miles

1980: 531.5 miles

1990: 454.5 miles

2000: 990.0 miles

Source: Fort Worth Water Department

In fiscal 2010, the most recent year for which data is available, the city had 3,511 miles of water lines and replaced about 20 miles. For wastewater, it had 3,469 miles of sewer lines and replaced about 11 miles.

That's far less than the old goals of replacing 2 percent annually, but officials said those guidelines are unrealistic with the city's rapid growth since the mid-1990s.

In fiscal 2011, $35 million in pipeline contracts were awarded, while $126 million were awarded in fiscal 2010. A number of relocation projects in 2010 were tied to work on Trinity River Vision projects and on Texas 121.

In one of the most extreme cases, the Justice Department and the Environmental Protection Agency went to federal court in August and obtained a consent decree against the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District that requires it to spend an estimated $4.7 billion over 23 years to deal with illegal sewage overflows.

"The risk of not making investment is twofold," Curtis said. "First, you spend a lot more in emergency repairs, and it's quite damaging in water and sewer breaks. And if you put off making improvements because of political or financial pressure, the costs only get higher. It is definitely a case of pay me now or pay me later."

In October, Fort Worth removed a 119-year-old valve from its North Holly water treatment plant that dated to the plant's opening in 1892. The city also inherited 7.71 miles of asbestos concrete when it annexed the Lake Country Estates area on the far west side. Gugliuzza said those pipes pose no threat to water quality as long as they are in the ground, but they could create problems if they are disturbed.

"If we had to replace it, that's when it would pose a concern," Gugliuzza said.

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