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Serving the residents of Montgomery and Prince George’s counties since 1918, WSSC Water now faces the critical challenge of maintaining or replacing more than 11,000 miles of water and sewer mains, much of it old and failing.

Currently, more than 40 percent of our water mains are over 50 years old. These older pipes are either cast iron or asbestos cement and have reached their natural lifespan. Corrosion of unlined pipes by soil and water drives the aging process.

Refer to the Aging Infrastructure and Water Main Breaks FAQs for more information.

Funding Infrastructure Renewal

Aging infrastructure and how to pay for its renewal is a national issue.  The federal and state governments have spent relatively little on underground water/wastewater infrastructure, concentrating more on roads and bridges. For WSSC Water, that means taking the necessary steps to ensure delivery of water/wastewater services while limiting the burden on the ratepayer.

The number of water main miles we replace varies from year to year. Currently, we are replacing more than 20 miles per year.  While WSSC Water’s budget allows for the replacement of water and sewer mains, the average cost to replace one mile of water pipe is $1.4 million.

WSSC Water is also under a Consent Decree to inspect and rehabilitate the sewerage collection system, which includes 5,634 miles of sewer lines. The cost estimates on that project are now above $1.65 billion.

Additional Reports

Bi-County Infrastructure Funding Work Group Report [pdf; 2MB]
Paying the Pipers for Utility Upgrades - Gazette Editorial, September 7, 2012 [pdf]

Last Modified: March 1, 2024, 1:45 pm EST