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A Water Infrastructure Problem-Stats on America's Aging Infrastructure

Dec 14, 2022 9:18:43 AM

Water-main breaks, boil-water advisories, and treatment-plant failures are all becoming more common as the water infrastructure ages. We've compiled some statistics from the WSJ, EPA and Multipure


  • The median age of the oldest part of those systems in 2020 was 113 years, and the average age of a pipe is 40 years.
  • More than 90% of the average utility’s revenues come directly from constituents’ water bills.
  • 2.2 million miles of water pipes throughout the United States. Over 148,000 municipal water systems distribute 39 billion gallons of water each day
  • Most of the water pipes in this country were estimated to last between 75 and 100 years before they needed to be replaced due to wear and damage. But, because most of these pipes were built in the first half of the 20th century (generally between the late 1890s and the late 1940s), many of them are reaching the end of their lifespan.
  • Every 2 minutes, a break in the water pipes occurs, losing 6 billion gallons of water each day.
  • Considering 39 billion gallons of water is distributed each day, this means that over 15% of all that water is lost each day.
  • Each year, 2.1 trillion gallons of water are lost due to breakdowns in the water infrastructure.
  • The current estimated cost to repair, maintain, or upgrade the nation’s water infrastructure is $129 billion; unfortunately, only $50 billion has been allocated to do so.
  • There are still 6 to 10 million lead services lines in cities and towns across the country

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