Metro Water’s capital wish list includes millions to replace old pipes

Metro Water's capital wish list includes millions to replace old pipes (Image 1)

Metro Water Services capital improvement plan includes millions of dollars to replace aging pipes like the pipe that burst in Green Hills last month. 

Nashville has more than 3,000 miles of water pipes and the majority of them are more than 40-years-old.

News 2 obtained the Metro Water Services Capital Improvement plan that shows the department is working to replace aging pipes each year.

Metro Water had what it described as a “catastrophic” pipe break on July 30. It left more than 15,000 customers without water.

The pipe that broke was set to be replaced by Metro Water services, but the pipe failure made it an immediate priority.

There are a number of projects like that one that Metro Water is working through as funding and other factors allow.

“Just because [pipes] are old doesn’t mean they need to be replaced, but as infrastructure ages, it’s more likely to break and have difficulties,” Spokeswoman Sonia Harvat said. “When we are looking at water projects to be done, we look at the amount of money we have to spend and then we have to prioritize which ones are done first.”

Harvat told News 2 some projects are taken on in concert with other projects being done by other departments.

“For example a TDOT project,” she said. “If they are going to rip up the asphalt, we might as well go in there while they are doing that and replace our main.”

One of the water projects the department is looking to complete by 2019 is replacing a water main at Nolensville Road, Central Pike, Hillsboro Road, Edgehill and a water line at Earhart Road.

The department also wants to add water leak detection, fire hydrants and fire flow enhancement.

The project is expected to cost $112 million over the next five years.

That is dependent on available funding.

“We look at the age of the pipes,” Harvat said. “We look at the area to see if the water pipe serve critical structures or large commercial properties.”

The water department also handles questions about water flow and other issues that customers report. Sometimes those problems are caused by the city’s water system, but other times it is the property owners plumbing.

People who are having problems with their water services should call the water department’s dispatch at 615-862-4600.


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