Released by ASCE-NCS.ORG on January 14, 2016

The National Capital Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) released the 2016 Report Card for D.C.’s Infrastructure on Thursday, January 14, 2016.

The report includes an evaluation of the District’s bridges, drinking water, energy, levees, parks, rail, roads, schools, solid waste, transit and wastewater.

D.C.'s Infrastructure received a "mediocre" grade. It is of only moderate quality; not very good. Because infrastructure has a direct impact on our lives every day—from the quality of water delivered through taps in our homes, to the condition of school buildings our children attend and to the condition and capacity of the roads and rails we travel on, those living or working in, and those governing D.C.'s infrastructure funding policies must invest adequately to safeguard its role that is vital to our economy, security, recreation, and safety.

D.C.’s drinking water comes from the Potomac River, is treated by the Washington Aqueduct, and is then delivered by DC Water. The system supplies approximately 95.8 million gallons per day of water, equivalent to 145 Olympic swimming pools. The system entails 1,350 miles of pipes, equivalent to driving from D.C. to Chicago and back. The pipes’ median age is 79 years, which is beyond the design lifespan of 50 years, and 9% of pipes were installed during the period between the Civil War and the 1890s. Recently, DC Water started replacing 1% of pipes a year. While 3 times the previous year’s replacement rate, it is still a 100-year replacement cycle. There are typically 400 to 550 water main breaks a year. The system also includes 4 pumping stations, 5 reservoirs, 3 elevated water storage tanks, and 9,300 fire hydrants.