According to CNN, there are as many as 700 water main breaks in the U.S. on a daily basis. The cause of these breaks is due to an aging water delivery infrastructure where up to 30 percent of water pipes are 40 to 80 years old. Many of the aging water lines lie beneath homes and businesses, and their ruptures result in massive property loss and public health threats.
Danger to Your Health, Home and Business
In 2009, the American Society of Civil Engineers gave the U.S. drinking water system a D-minus in an infrastructure report card. The CNN report states that anytime there is a break in a water main there is a risk of contaminating drinking water with viruses and bacteria, and gives the example of the 2008 salmonella outbreak in Alamosa, Colorado. Additionally, 7 billion gallons of water leak from broken water mains on a daily basis around the country. Funds for this infrastructure, however, are severely lacking and some believe that the privatization of community water utilities is the answer to fixing this problem.
Most water mains to run under ground, and some are as large as 72 inches. When one breaks, basements and ground-level floors are at risk for major water damage that can lead to dark water and mold. Water damage is expensive to remediate and may not be covered by a home or commercial insurance policy if an owner does not also have flood insurance. In addition to the memories that can be lost to water damage, like family photos, important documents can also suffer the consequences of a water main break. Home and business owners should question how safe their items are in the event of catastrophic water damage, which is often sudden and unpredictable.