Dec 8, 2014
More than half of the large valves on high-volume water mains are unusable in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C., according to the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC).
These valves are important in emergencies when water mains break. Workers must close the valves to shut water off to the area near the broken main. If a valve doesn’t work, the workers have to close a valve shutting off water to a much bigger area, affecting more customers.
But to work, the valves need to be maintained and exercised regularly or they corrode and rust. Hundreds of these valves date between 1920 and 1960. WSSC didn’t maintain the valves for 10 years as budget cuts “gutted” the maintenance crews in the early 2000s.
When infrastructure isn’t maintained, it WILL collapse!