Water officials say infrastructure needs to be update now or pay steep cost down the road

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

(KPLR) - From a gas leak to a water main break in Maryland Heights; Wednesday 50 homes were without water due to a water main break on McKelvey road.

This is a problem we are seeing more frequently and water industry leaders are talking about why it's crucial to address the problem now before it only gets worse.

There have been at least three water main breaks in the past three months in just St. Louis County.  Water officials say we are only going to see more if we don`t start fixing our water infrastructure.

Parts of St. Louis` water infrastructure system, meaning underground pipes, sewers and treatment plants are over 100 years old.

Water industry professionals met with local leaders on the Mississippi River to discuss the problem.

They say we are not in a crisis yet.

Water professionals say on a scale of one to ten, ten being a water infrastructure crisis we are at about a six.

In order to avoid a crisis the city and county will need money to update the equipment.

Therefore industry professionals say an increase in utility rates is necessary.

Recently high lead levels were found in St. Louis area schools.

Water professionals say that has to do with old plumbing inside the buildings.

They say we are not at a point where we are close to having a water crisis like Flint Michigan.

We might not see that utility rate increase for a few more years, but it is inevitably coming to avoid a much bigger problem.