According to cbslocal.com, there has been an increase in boil-water notices throughout the U.S., particularly in Texas. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality stated that Fourteen Texas cities with populations exceeding 100,000 have undergone at least one boil-water advisory in the last five years. In Texas alone, there were 1,550 boil-water advisories last year–an increase from about 1,100 in 2012 and 650 in 2008.
“The Texas Gulf Coast city has issued three orders in less than a year telling residents to boil their water to ensure it’s safe to consume. Other U.S. metro areas have had similar problems: In recent years the residents of Toledo, Ohio, a city of 400,000, were told not to drink the water after toxins penetrated the system, and the Seattle suburb of Mercer Island avoided tap water for nearly a week after elevated levels of E. coli were found.”
Water quality experts say there are many reasons a city’s water quality can be compromised. The major factors include:
- Broken water mains
- Failing public utility systems
- Loss of pressure
- High bacteria levels and weather-related causes
Safe drinking water has become a boiling topic throughout the U.S. ever since Flint’s crisis showed Americans that eroding infrastructure is a real thing that should not be ignored.
Corpus Christi, a population of 320,000 is one of many U.S. communities dealing with water problems caused by aging infrastructure. With costly upgrades unrealistic for many cash-strapped cities, including Corpus Christi, the water problems seem likely to persist.
So how do state officials fix these issues?
Greg DiLoreto, the past president of the American Society of Civil Engineers, said that if people want quality water and fewer incidents [such as boil-water advisories] then water rates have to increase. Can people fathom, “ the true cost of operating, maintaining and replacing a full water utility[?]”
DiLoreto said an additional $105 billion must be spent to modernize water and wastewater treatment facilities in a country that sees 240,000 water main breaks a year. Read more details here.