Friday, May 7, 2010

Pay attention America!

The Charles River, lovely, but not safe to drink.

This is an issue the Clarion Content has been banging on for some time. Infrastructure!!! Heads up America, we haven't done diddly since the Eisenhower administration to improve and maintain our infrastructure. The time to pay the piper is coming. (Which, of course, makes the warmongering of King George the II even more despicable.)

Among the most vulnerable parts of American infrastructure, even frailer and more vulnerable than our bridges and roads, is our water system. We saw a stark reminder of that last weekend as more than 2 million Boston area residents spent three days without drinkable tap water (or coffee). A break in 10 foot in diameter (3 meter) pipe triggered the emergency. The pipe in Weston, Massachusetts, a suburb about 15 miles west of Boston, burst last Saturday. The rupture, near the intersection of the Massachusetts Turnpike and Route 128, spilled more than 250 million gallons of water and pushed tons of soil into the Charles River. Most urban American water systems are built with infrastructure that is approaching 100 years old. Inevitably it ages and needs to be replaced.

To highlight how vulnerable we are to sudden disruption of our water supply, notice that, 136 miles away in North Conway, New Hampshire, the Hannaford Supermarket ran out of bottled water in the days following the disaster. Beware America, unless something is done this disaster is coming to a city near you. It is estimated that $8.5 billion is needed to update Massachusetts water infrastructure alone. Good thing America, didn't just waste more than a trillion dollars on rebuilding the infrastructure of Iraq, only to see it get blown up.


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