Officials Predict Billions Needed to Ensure Clean Water in Massachusetts

Water Price Set To RiseBOSTON (AP) — Officials predict billions of dollars will be needed in the coming years to ensure that clean drinking water will continue to flow without interruption in Massachusetts.

Some water and sewer systems in older cities date back to the 1800s.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has said it would cost $384 billion over 20 years just to maintain the nation’s existing drinking water infrastructure. For Massachusetts, the EPA estimated the need at about $7.7 billion, including $5.6 billion to maintain the transmission and distribution network.

Other estimates are higher: A 2012 report from the Water Infrastructure Finance Commission, created by the state Legislature, found Massachusetts “conservatively” faced a $10.2 billion gap in resources for drinking water over a two-decade period, along with an $11.2 billion gap in resources for wastewater projects.

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