While crews spent most of yesterday and today working to repair a broken water main at 22nd Street and Alvernon Way, the 63-year-old, 30-inch main is part of an ongoing problem of aging infrastructure.
Water rate hikes average about 8 percent a year, and even though residents are doing a great job of conserving water, Tucson Water says that's not enough to fix the hundreds of miles of pipeline that are more than 60 years old.
The utility made investments recently to help manage aging infrastructure, including programs for reservoir rehabilitation and valve maintenance. It also acknowledges the financial constraints under which it must operate, while maintaining a list that prioritizes how money gets spent.
Tucson Water has installed new fiber optic technology in its bigger pipes to detect potential problems, and that technology averted a catastrophic break in 2012.