The water line break that forced Wichita residents to boil their water before using it for several days highlights concerns about the city’s aging infrastructure.
The water main break that forced the boil order last week happened after the city’s water plant lost part of its power supply, so the pumps sending water throughout the system automatically shut down.
The Wichita Eagle reports that a 2017 assessment found 99% of Wichita’s water treatment plant was in poor condition, and the entire raw water pipe system was in very poor condition.
Recent reports have said Wichita’s water supply needs hundreds of millions of dollars in investments and near-constant repair and replacement.
The city has budgeted $10 million a year in its most recent capital improvements plan.
A new water plant that is under construction will help the situation, but it won’t be ready until 2024 at the earliest.