Cities’ utility infrastructure is failing – and so is yours

In a recent article from The New York Times, “$300 Billion War Beneath the Street: Fighting to Replace America’s Water Pipes,” Hiroko Tabuchi lays out the frightening statistics about America’s crumbling water infrastructure. What’s not mentioned in the article is that this problem isn’t just about aging municipal water and sewer systems – it also affects the utility pipes on your own property that connect your home to these systems. 
As Tabuchi reports, by 2020, the average age of 1.6 million miles of water of sewer pipes will be 45 years old. Not surprisingly, that’s about the same average age – 42 years – of American homes, according to U.S. Census data, and very likely the age of the pipes that lead from the street into those homes. According to a recent study in the Journal of the American Water Works Association, failures in water pipes occur most often in homes between the age of 30 and 60, so the threat of failure should be a real and significant concern for the majority of homeowners. The problem is that many homeowners don’t realize how old their utility lines are or what they need to do when those pipes need repair. 
When utility service lines break, most homeowners can’t simply pick up the phone and ask the city to fix the problem or rely on typical homeowners’ insurance to cover the costly repair. The hard reality is that the repair of the pipes that run from the street into a home are the responsibility of the homeowner. These repairs can cost thousands, yet survey data shows that nearly two in five Americans (38 percent) don’t have the necessary funds set aside to cover even a $500 emergency expense. 
HomeServe understands the urgent problems associated with aging infrastructure. That’s why we take great pride in freeing our customers from the worry and inconvenience of home emergency repairs by offering low-cost service plans that are a wise component of a homeowner’s financial strategy. To learn about the plans available in your area.