Over the next 20 years, Florida will need more than $16 billion in funding to maintain the existing drinking water infrastructure. As Florida’s water systems continue to age, more attention is being drawn to these antiquated pipe lines.
Many different facets, such as the pollution of municipal water sources and the aging pipes, contribute to this matter.
David Roberts, manager of water production in Tallahassee, explains what the drinking water infrastructure in Tallahassee is done at opportune moments, and as needed depending on the age of the pipes.
“We have annual projects that replace small drinking water infrastructures, depending on the age of the pipes,” Roberts said. “Over the next 20 years, according to the New Water Master Plan, the City of Tallahassee is expected to spend $40 million to $50 million on water expenditures.”
The largest federal aid program for improving these water systems has only a bit over $1 billion sitting unspent. However that does not cover nearly as much as it should, seeing the state is in need of over $16 billion over the course of the next 20 years. This monetary issue presents a major funding challenge.
According to a report made to the Associated Press, Jacksonville based water-infrastructure expert, Tom Friedrich said that there are communities in Florida with 100 year old pipes.
“We have communities in Florida with 100-year-old pipes still. Old pipes cost more to repair now, and it’s got to be done over many years. It’s a real headache,” Friedrich said.
Residents in Tallahassee also voiced their concerns about the obvious deteriorating pipes. Samia Burton, a Tallahassee resident of five years, says she invests her money in filtered products due to the unpleasant tasting tap water.
“I choose to invest my money in filtered water, due to my lack of trust in the Tallahassee drinking water systems. You can taste how old the pipes are when you even attempt to drink the water straight from the faucet.”
According to the AP, Florida, although given room to set aside an estimate 31 percent of its funding for projects not relating to drinking water, has set aside only 10 percent. This suggests that Florida is efficiently moving forward to fix these problems.