CHELAN, WASH. — There are an estimated 240,000 water main breaks each year in the United States, according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Aging Water Infrastructure Research Program, and some water experts fear that the problem is getting worse.
The new federal stimulus law provides $6 billion for water projects, with $2 billion of that directed to drinking water systems. But that money is only, well, a drop in the bucket: a report released last month by the E.P.A. estimated that the nation’s drinking water systems require an investment of $334.8 billion over the next two decades, with most of the money needed to improve transmission and distribution systems.
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