News Summary: Detroit pipe thefts drain away water

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 11, 2013 at 10:15 am •  Published: December 11, 2013
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WATER WOES: More than 30,000 buildings stand vacant in neighborhoods hollowed out by Detroit's long population decline, vulnerable to metal scavengers who rip out pipes, leaving the water to flow.

HOW IT HAPPENED: As more families have moved away in recent years, often without notifying the utility, crews fell behind on shutting off unpaid accounts. The city's water system has no way of tracking the leaks, and the water department doesn't have enough workers to check every structure.

WHY IT MATTERS: As Detroit goes through the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history, the city's porous water system illustrates how some of its resources are still draining away even as it struggles to stabilize its finances and provide basic services.


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