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Water/Waste Processing e-News / Infrastructure

Dallas to start old water mains replacement project

April 22, 2014
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Dallas have been complaining about the strange color of their tap water. Although the water quality meets state and federal standards, the aging pipeline infrastructure gives the water a yellowish tint, most often after rainstorms.

The problem has been noticeable for years but instances of water discoloration have been reported more frequently over the last 18 months. Most pipes of the city water system are made of cast iron and their aging is causing the problem, but Dallas Water Utilities has plans to deal with it and will start replacing old pipes, beginning this year and continuing over the next few years, according to the Dallas Morning News.

Richard Wagner, an official at Dallas Water Utilities, explained that the utility was planning to make infrastructure improvements for the long term. The organization has estimated that pipelines can last for about 50 years but some of the mains used in the city have been there for 60 or even 70 years. This year, Dallas Water Utilities will spend between $100 million and $120 million on replacement of water and wastewater mains, Wagner said. But the utility is also calling on residents to support the upgrade by installing new toilets that could save water and cut costs.

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An infrastructure report card published by the American Society of Civil Engineers estimates that Texas will have to invest $26 billion in drinking water infrastructure improvement over the next 20 years to meet its needs.

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