Cost of aging infrastructure

CITY OF NEWBURGH — The breach of an 1880s trunk line is resolved, but not before three million gallons of sewage flowed into the Quassaick Creek.

The second trunk line break in as many months has required at least $800,000 in emergency repairs, said city manager Richard Herbek. A permanent fix could cost millions more.

A break further upstream along the same trunk line roughly a month ago cost the city $800,000, and was covered through fund balance.

Times Herald-Record reports on a wastewater spill in Newburgh, NY. The trunk line has cost $1.6 millions in just 2 months, not counting additional costs due to water contamination, recreation losses, etc. This situation is indicative of the problem facing the entire New York State – replacement of aging water and wastewater infrastructure in a way that  achieves maximum social gain. How much do you delay the needed repairs and upgrades before they start showing up as clean-up costs and lost utility?

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