According to the U.S. Geological Survey's 2010 Water Census daily per capita water use in the U.S. is 88 gallons for domestic use. This includes both indoor and outdoor use. Whether it is for simple things like watering the lawn, doing the dishes or taking a shower, we would be hard pressed if our water infrastructure was not able to deliver our most valuable natural resource.
Trenton Water Works operates a 60-million-gallon water-filtration plant and water-distribution system that includes a 100-million-gallon reservoir. The system has 683 miles of transmission lines varying in size from 4 to 48 inches in diameter, three pump stations and five interconnections between TWW and other water purveyors. A large portion of water pipes was installed during three periods, and they will all need to be replaced in the next 25 years. Consider the following:
- The oldest cast iron pipes laid in the late 1800s usually last 120 years;
- Pipes laid in 1920s must be replaced after 100 years;
- Pipes from the post-World War II boom wear out after 75 years.
Regardless of when drinking water pipes are replaced, water is going to cost more in the future. And it’s an investment worth making!