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Aging Indy infrastructure to blame for burst Broad Ripple water main

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Nov. 25, 2014) - A 66-year-old water main burst in Broad Ripple Tuesday, leaving hundreds without water, and begging the question, can Indy handle its aging infrastructure?

City officials and utility companies say the scene that played out in Broad Ripple Tuesday is already a common one that we can expect to see more of.

“It was a bit of a pain,” said Nicholas Almeda.

Almeda works at a Laundromat near Monday’s water main break.

“We had a lot of costumers get irritated about the scenario and wondering how long it was going to be,” he said.

Water was cut for ten hours to Almeda’s and a handful of other businesses, an apartment complex, and Broad Ripple High School.

“The older anything gets, the more problems it’s eventually going to have,” said Almeda.

The culprit of Monday’s break was a 66-year-old water main that burst. It dried up faucets and forced businesses to close shop.

“The age of the main and the pressure on the system is what caused the main to break. We have 700 water main breaks in Indianapolis every year,” said Sarah Holsapple who works for Citizens Energy Group.

Utility companies like Citizen’s are responsible for the water pipes, which Holsapple said are well past their prime.

She said Indy’s aging infrastructure needs work and you likely will not like who is going to have to foot the bill to make the repairs.

“We have some water mains that were put in the ground in the 19th century; so we’re talking about old infrastructure that needs to be either repaired or replaced and the only way that we can do that is if we ask for water rate increases,” said Holsapple.

Citizens Energy is investing $114 million into updating their water system and utility bills are already reflecting that. This year, they increased by $1 every month, with future increases not out of the question.

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