The past isn't that long ago
January 9, 2012

The Sioux City Journal publishes a regular column with stories from the archives, and in yesterday's edition shared an 1887 story about the then-brand-new waterworks serving the city. It's widely lost to the public's imagination, but municipal drinking water systems in the United States are mainly a product of the post-Civil War era and are thus not really all that old from the long viewpoint of human history. (In other words, we're still relatively new at this, at least when compared to lots of other things we've been doing much longer.) On the other side of that coin, however, is the knowledge that the components making up those systems are aging all the time, and many are in urgent need of repair or replacement. There are many systems with original components still in place delivering water today. They've far outlived their reasonable service lives and need to be upgraded in order to ensure the continued supply of safe fresh water that we take for granted.

January 2012
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last revised January 2012