I was out having coffee one morning and ran into the man who taught me the wastewater and drinking water business. We talked about what it would cost to construct the sewer lines for a small subdivision when it was developed in 1955. This guy was a young man at that time, but remembers that 4-foot vitrified clay lines were used then. Today, these types of lines are problematic and in need of replacement.  

He mentioned that it cost a total of $20,000 to do that project with a contractor doing all of the work. We both wondered what a project like that would cost now. The following website gives you an idea of what it would cost to do the job with the same material in the same timeframe. The $20,000 is now equal to $174,535.07 at a cumulative rate of inflation of 772.7 percent. This rate changes daily.

This is why we find ourselves in the infrastructure dilemma that we are facing right now. How do we pay for the needed repair or replacement?

Without the proper infrastructure in our communities, there can be minimal growth. New industries are not likely to locate in a community that can’t provide quality water and an amount they require to do business. Because of broken pipes, old systems, and tight budgets, we need to look at a new method of asset management. The link below will lead to a good starting point on the process of asset management.

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