New Water Lines = Happy Showers!
Did you know that there are nearly 170,000 public water systems in the United States? More than one million miles of water mains stretch across the Nation providing us with water to drink, shower in, play in and provide us with fire safety. Sadly, much of the water infrastructure is old and in need of replacement. The American Society of Civil Engineers gave the water infrastructure a D (poor) in the 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure. The condition of the pipes that make up the water infrastructure is often unknown since they are buried underground – out of sight and out of mind. But the impacts are felt. By low water pressure or reduced fire flows. Water main breaks also indicates the condition of the water pipes that lie beneath the streets. Worse yet, water leaks can cause road deterioration from below the surface.
Quantitative data shows that much of Lake Worth’s water infrastructure pipes were installed 50 – 60 years ago. They were 2 inches in diameter and made of steel. While they were state-of-the-art at the time, much has changed. The way we live, increases in demand, and population growth has placed additional strain on the small pipes.
The pipes have become severely corroded over the years thereby restricting water flow throughout the system. What used to be a 2” diameter is more like 1”. The corrosion can lead to water discoloration and although not harmful, requires more water flushing at all of the fire hydrants to maintain water quality. Corrosion plus age is a bad combination: the resulting water main breaks, inconvenience to customers, as well as, the cost of repair is not a good outcome.
Lake Worth has started a 6 year project to replace 22 miles of the 2” watermains throughout the city. The new water infrastructure will use 4-inch, 6-inch or larger PVC pipe which is durable, clean and long-lasting. They will be able to move greater volumes of water with increased pressure at the tap – think Happy Showers!
Year 1 of the water infrastructure project has been designed by professional engineers, bid & awarded for construction. See Map.
Year 2: Currently under design. Construction should commence in 2017.
Improving infrastructure is expensive, and dividing the project across six years will allow the City to make the most cost-effective decisions about design, bidding and construction. Residents may experience minor traffic delays during construction, as many of the water mains are located under roads. The City will continue to inform residents about where and when construction will be taking place ahead of time.
Most importantly, residents should know that water quality will remain at their normal high levels throughout the construction process.