Philly Has A Lot of Leaky, Aging Gas Pipes Sitting Underground

It’s a common problem for big East Coast cities.

Here’s a question for buyers wanting to privatize Philadelphia Gas Works: How quickly would you modernize the city’s aging, leaky miles of gas mains?

It’s not just a Philly problem: The New York Times reports about how big East Coast cities are prone to this kind of aging infrastructure. But Philly isn’t a bad example of it either: The Times reports that Philly experiences 76 gas main leaks per 100 miles of pipe —second only to New York’s Consolidated Edison among cities with more than 1000 miles of gas line. Among such cities Philly is third, with 39 percent of its gas mains installed before 1940. (That’s when people who are 100 years old now were just 26. If you want to think about it like that.)

So: Who’s more likely to give us gas mains younger than our great grandparents? City Hall? Or private buyers from Connecticut? Somebody’s going to be sure to answer this question, right?

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  • Lar5

    Just consider the millions of jobs created if we would just take care of our own infrastructure and safety.It’s as if the GOP was Nero watching the country burn. Politics and stupidity reigns!

  • matthew brandley

    Take the politics out of it . I am sure I am going to piss off alot of people with what I am about to say so here it goes. When you have a third of the city that pays no taxes and recieves some type of assistance from the state or feds aka welfare, food stamps, susidised housing, they pay no taxes into the system it creates a problem where the city agancy cant replace the aging ifrastucture due to delinquent bills not being paid. millions in unpaid bills means no money to replace infrastucture. PUC has set rates that pgw can charge. Rates need to be reaised in order to replace aging mains , pipes ect. Take AQUA water co in the susburbs for example. many local water cos have sold ops to them . they have doubled the rates in some cases to replace aging water mains. Nobody has complained. The roads may be closed durring the day but its a temporary inconvenience. Part of the problem with PGW is the union pension and the union benefits along with the bogus workers comp claims thats hindering it from being cost effective to replace the aging gas mains. Reform , drastic reform needs to be done to the pension program before the city winds up like detoit in 5 years or less. having said that ,,,,,, let it rip