Old pipes lead to illness and expense

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Aging water pipes all over Norway can cause illness in coming years, because of built-up sediment and leaks, while repairs or replacement will likely lead to higher water and sewage fees.

Newspaper Aftenposten highlighted the problem this week, the latest example of needed infrastructure renewal in Norway. Health officials worry that the old watermains, especially in Norwegian cities, can result in stomach and intestinal ailments if they’re not replaced soon.

Investment needed in the water and sewage systems, though, will mean higher fees. “There’s no other realistic means to do this, than to impose higher fees,” Helge Eide of the municipal organization KS told Aftenposten on Wednesday. 

Local governments are responsible for local water supplies, financed through user fees. Several municipal officials around Norway have claimed their maintenance programs are on track, but around 22 percent of Norway’s underground watermains were installed between 1941 and 1970, and many are older.

Some experts claim it will take 200 years to replace existing pipes at today’s pace.

Views and News staff