The Plan suggests that the Town’s current yearly pipeline replacement program has been underfunded. The recommendation is that Town should target replacement of 1-2% of the total system length per year, so that the total system is fully replaced every 50-100 years. The Plan recommends that the yearly pipeline replacement budget be increased to a minimum of $1.8M per year. This suggestion was reviewed in light of the Town’s experience with pipe conditions and maintenance. The useful life of distribution system piping is impacted by several factors: pipe material, water quality and hydraulic conditions such as water pressure and velocity. The Town believes that the distribution system is in relatively good shape and that our investments in the pipeline program are appropriate.
The Town has in fact been increasing its investment in the water distribution system: we budgeted $678K for this purpose in FY 23, and are proposing $475 in FY 24. The Town has been working diligently to replace the few remaining Asbestos Cement pipes in the distribution system. Only about 3% of the Town’s pipes remain Asbestos Cement.