While aging infrastructure is easy to observe in many U.S. highways, bridges, and transit systems, one of the most critical aspects of aging infrastructure is literally buried underground. It is often only when failures occur that we are reminded of how vulnerable we can be without access to safe drinking water.
The definitive report on U.S. infrastructure illustrates the deep challenges the nation faces in upgrading its water and wastewater systems. The U.S. received an overall grade of “D+” on the 2017 American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Infrastructure Report Card. Wastewater and drinking water infrastructure scored a “D+” and a “D,” respectively.
The ASCE defines a “D” grade as one that finds “the infrastructure is in poor to fair condition and mostly below standard, with many elements approaching the end of their service life. A large portion of the system exhibits significant deterioration. Condition and capacity are of serious concern with strong risk of failure.”