The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Fix the Damn Pipes!

Jan 31, 2022

Crews from the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department have been working to fix 75 water main breaks in the city in the last week. Over the past three years, there have been an average of more than 330 water main breaks during January and February, according to figures from the DWSD.

A spokesperson for the Water Department blamed the breaks on water from the Detroit River dropping below 36 degrees and entering the water system. They also explained in an advisory that extreme temperature changes, hot or cold, cause pipes to expand and contract, which leads to ruptures.

Who knew that temperatures in Michigan would drop below 36 degrees and change frequently?! Local residents have an expression, "If you don’t like the weather in Michigan, wait five minutes and it will change."

Water main breaks lead to whole neighborhoods experiencing flooded streets and sidewalks, electrical outages, and flooded basements every year.

The Water Department admits Detroit’s water pipes are 95 years old on average and some date back to 1854! A rational plan might be to replace water and sewer pipes more than once per century, but the City of Detroit is too busy giving tax breaks to the auto companies and wealthy people, like the Ilitches and Dan Gilbert, to replace the pipes before they break! And Detroit is hardly alone. It’s just like everywhere else under capitalism.