Crumbling Infrastructure Causing Uptick in Man-Made Sinkholes

May 9, 2017

Roger Schneider of The Associated Press writes that sinkholes due to failing water, drain and sewer pipes are appearing at an increasing rate. Cities who have been putting off repairing or replacing water infrastructure projects are looking at some budget-busting construction costs. The American Society of Civil Engineers said that public spending is running far short of what's needed to replace water and wastewater systems that will be outmoded by 2025. The funding gap was estimated at $105 billion now, up from $55 billion in 2010.

No national or government agency tracks how many man-made sinkholes appear each year across the country. From early December through April, according to a review by The Associated Press of media coverage, 39 significant sinkholes related to failing infrastructure - a rate of about one every four days - struck across the country in places such as Chicago, Los Angeles, Hoboken, New Jersey, Sioux City, Iowa, and Seattle.

Schneider writes age is a primary factor in the water infrastructure failures - in fact, in Washington, D.C., some of the pipes were installed during the Civil War.

Read Schneider's Huge Sinkholes Are Now Appearing In The Wrong Places here.