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The original item was published from 9/20/2016 2:22:46 PM to 10/15/2016 12:00:02 AM.

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Posted on: September 20, 2016

[ARCHIVED] Imagine a Day Without Water

Water Drop

No water to drink, or even to make coffee with. No water to shower, flush the toilet, or do laundry. Hospitals would close without water. Firefighters couldn't put out fires, and farmers couldn't water their crops.
Some communities in America already know how impossible it is to try to go a day without our most precious resource: Water.

Frequently, public attention on infrastructure typically focuses on the things we see every day, like roads, bridges, and tunnels. Yet the hidden infrastructure that reliably brings clean water to homes and businesses, and takes it away after it has been used, is actually far more immense than our highway system. National Geographic estimates that the country’s 1.2 million miles of water mains translates to 26 miles of pipes for every mile of interstate highway. And, while the interstate system was built in the late 20th century, many of the water systems that country’s biggest cities rely on were built in the 1800s or early 1900s.

Now those systems are showing the effects of a Celebrate Water – Thursday, Sept. 15 century, or more, of running 24 hours a day, seven
days a week, 365 days a year. A water main breaks somewhere in America every two minutes. The American Society of Civil Engineers gave a grade of “D” to our country’s drinking water and wastewater infrastructure. Without further investments, these systems will experience more frequent failures and disruptions as they try to keep up with the needs of both the modern metropolises and rural and agricultural areas they serve.

Fremont residents briefly experienced a day without water several days this summer when an early morning lightning storm knocked out power to the City’s wells. The resulting boil order, in fact, lasted several days. Luckily the order was only recommended for drinking water, and water remained available for showering, laundry, and other essential tasks. Experiencing an event like this is a reminder of how dependent we are on our public water system.

Fremont residents briefly experienced a day without water several days this summer when an early morning lightning storm knocked out power to the City’s wells. The resulting boil order, in fact, lasted several days. Luckily the order was only recommended for drinking water, and water remained available for showering, laundry, and other essential tasks. Experiencing an event like this is a reminder of how dependent we are on our public water system.

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