Aging pipes causing Amarillo to lose millions of gallons of water

Aging pipes causing Amarillo to lose millions of gallons of water

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Each year the City of Amarillo loses about $200 million worth of water trying supply it to residents and businesses.

85 percent of that water comes from water wells while the other 15 percent is pumped from Lake Meredith. Through both processes, about 500 million gallons of water is lost per year as it travels through the city.

Documenting this loss can be difficult since Amarillo's water travels through 1,100 linear miles of pipes underground and the city pumps between 15 to 17 billion gallons of water each year to the area.

Water line breaks can range anywhere from one break a week to 10. Normally breaks are more likely to occur in moisture or freezing temperatures.

Undocumented and old wooden water piping are culprits to the water waste and the best possible way to tackle the problem is to fix piping as the lines break.

"Some of the oldest pipe that we've replaced or dug up were wooden pipes in the city," said Russell Grubbs, Director of Utilities. "On average, it is 40 to 50 year old pipes still in the city. We are constantly replacing and upgrading our infrastructure."

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average water loss throughout our the nation is at about 16 percent. Right now Amarillo's water loss equaled at about 3.92 percent.

The city does not hire employees to monitor piping but the public is encouraged to report leaks.

If you notice leakage or random patches of green weeds this could be an indicator that there is a broken underground pipe.

To contact or report pipe leakages visit the city's website here.

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