Moberly faces water main break, neighboring cities talk aging infrastructure

As Moberly faced a water main break Wednesday, neighboring cities were talking about aging infrastructure. (Megan Sanchez/KRCG 13)

Columbia Water and Light Community Relations Specialist Lucia Bourgeois said she feels for what Moberly and its workers are going through amidst a water break.

"What's happened in Moberly is really terrible," she said. "They've got a lot of work that's cut out for them."

As for aging infrastructure in Columbia, Bourgeois said there are pipes that are 70, 80, 90, and 100 years old. As you get to newer parts of the city, the infrastructure is newer, and in older parts of town, infrastructure is older.

She said in 2008 the city developed a plan to address its aging infrastructure. She said funding is not an issue as far as she knows.

"We are replacing older pieces as they need to be replaced," she said.

Missouri American Water Communications Manager Brian Russell said aging pipes has been and continues to be a major concern in Jefferson City. He said some of the pipes in place are more than 100 years old.

The private company provides water to all residents within Jefferson City limits, and Russell said because they are a private company, they rely heavily on utility payments to fund new infrastructure. He said this is a difficult balance because while the need to replace old pipes is great, they also want to keep rates fair for residents.

Jefferson City Public Works manages stormwater and sewer systems in the city, not water mains. City Engineer David Bange said those are also aging.

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