It’s going to cost tens of billions of dollars to fix New York State’s failing water systems as cities across the state struggle with aging pipes and decades of neglect.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates the state faces more than $22 billion in drinking water needs over the next 20 years. A state projection puts the number at $39 billion.
Pipes in many areas are a century old and damaged by years of cold winters. Syracuse had 400 water main breaks last year alone, and estimates are that 20 percent of treated water entering New York City’s pipes leaks out before it gets to a faucet.
Local leaders say Albany and Washington should help with the cost, but there’s no agreement on how such an investment would be funded.
The City of Cortland is seeking millions worth of grants to replace aging water and sewer systems on Clinton Ave.