Reality Check: Cincinnati water woes - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Reality Check: Cincinnati water woes

A sinkhole in Avondale was caused by a sewer line break in June. (FOX19) A sinkhole in Avondale was caused by a sewer line break in June. (FOX19)
CINCINNATI (FOX19) -

Early this summer you probably saw the geyser blowing water high into the southern California sky as 20-million gallons of water flooded the streets near the campus of UCLA. It was following a water main that break quickly turned into a nightmare for a city suffering through a record drought.

Meanwhile, here in Cincinnati a Metro bus was nearly engulfed in a massive sinkhole in Avondale caused by a break in sewer line in June.

Tony Parrott, Executive Director of Cincinnati's Metropolitan Water and Sewer District, is in Washington tonight asking congress for help. FOX19 NOW spoke with Parrott earlier today, and we asked him about the Avondale break and others in Cincinnati.

"In some areas we have wooden sewer pipes ... we have wooden water mains and some of them are in poor condition," he says.

Poor condition may be an understatement. Here are just some of the findings in a report card released last year the American Society of Civil Engineers:

-Many cities water systems, including Cincinnati's, are more than 100 years old.

-There are 240-thousand water main breaks annually.

-Congressional funding is falling.

-Material costs are rising.

-The overall grade is a "D"

Parrott says part of the problem is a decline in government money.

"The only funding we've been able to get from the government is through a state revolving loan fund which has been decreasing over the past five years, so a lot of what we do in Cincinnati is funded by the municipalities and the rate-payers."

The bottom line is this: Many of the pipes beneath our feet are time bombs waiting to go off.

Parrott didn't tell us exactly how much it might cost to fix them but without help from congress the cost is going to be passed on to those "rate-payers" who are going to be forced to shell out even more for their water.

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