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$2.5 million to go towards West University Place water distribution lines replacement

Cast iron pipes that have been around since the city was created will be replaced with new PVC pipes to prevent water main breaks.

Outdated water distribution lines in West University Place, some of which have been around since the 1940s, will be replaced using federal funding.

Susan Sample is the mayor of West University Place and said many of these waterlines are made out of cast iron, and they've been around since West University Place was built.

"Once this project is complete, we will have replaced approximately 2,400 linear feet of aged cast iron pipes with new and larger PVC pipes that will enhance our water distribution capabilities," she said. "When we have weather like this, these pipes break a lot."

Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher secured the $2.5 million from the Consolidated Appropriations Act. The act funds essential programs and projects through bipartisan government funding.

"Clean water is vital to the health of our communities, and the health of our constituents," Fletcher said. "And this project will ensure that West University residents have clean drinking water for years to come."

Fletcher requested a total of $31.1 million for fifteen local projects through the Community Funded Projects process. Other communities that will benefit from the same process include Harris county, Bellaire, Southside Place, and Houston.

Sample said some areas the new pipes will benefit include water lines along Edloe between Rice and University Boulevard. West University Elementary School will also be able to provide its students with cleaner drinking water from these pipe replacements.

Tim Buscha is a city engineer for West University Place. He said this project will be the first of up to $12 million worth of water line rehabs they will do over the next five years through the city.

"This will improve service for residents, it's going to reduce service calls, it'll enhance the opportunity to provide cleaner and safer water to residents, a benefit to overall public health and safety, and reduce O & M costs to the city of West U over time," he said.

Across Houston, and particularly in the northeast side, many waterlines are outdated and often lead to more water main breaks. Right now, the city is seeing around 300 pending water leaks when there are usually around 100.

Read this article at HoustonPublicMedia.org.