Neda Simeonova is editorial director of Water & Wastes Digest. Simeonova can be reached at [email protected] or 847.391.1011.
Mar 10, 2014

Cold Weather Exposes Old Problem

All around the country city crews are busy working around the clock to address sewer and water main problems.

Cold weather this winter is wreaking havoc on ageing pipe systems, with water main breaks more than double the typical amount in some areas.

It seems that more than ever the severe weather this winter has exposed the age of our buried infrastructure. Addressing these issues will take a toll on municipal budgets.

The city of Evansville, Ind., for example, has seen 289 water main breaks as of mid-February, running up $430,000 in bills for employee overtime, contractors and supplies related to winter repairs, according to

Unfortunately, as we spring forward, melting snow and heavy rains are likely to exacerbate these problems. It is likely that cities, like Evansville, will have to closely weigh in infrastructure needs versus customers’ ability to handle potential rate increases.