Sep 28, 2009
On September 18, a big water main pipe ruptured in a suburb of Baltimore flooding parts of several neighborhoods. Hundreds of people had to be evacuated. Residents suffered millions of dollars in damages to their houses, appliances and other belongings, some of which will not be covered by their insurance policies – if they have one. A section of a major commuter road was also undermined and will remain closed for repairs for several weeks.
The type of water pipe that failed has not been installed for over 25 years, after it became all too clear it was likely to fail. But many thousands of miles of it were already in use in water systems all over the country.
These defective pipes would have been quickly replaced, if decisions about public services were made in the interests of the public. Instead, the pipes were left in place with the number of disastrous failures growing year after year.
In the meantime, companies that made those pipes raked in big bucks – until they were sued in New Jersey courts, after which, having taken the money and run, they shut down the business.
Now, as a spokesman for the Baltimore Department of Public Works said, “We really do have an infrastructure crisis.”
If so, it’s because we have a crisis caused by the search after more profit by every means imaginable.