Mpls. broken water main was installed in 1891

10:26 PM, Jan 11, 2013   |    comments
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MINNEAPOLIS - This week the city of Minneapolis released a photo of the broken water main pipe that dumped 14 million gallons of water into city streets. The pipe was placed in 1891.

"Some of the infrastructure in Minneapolis dates back to the Civil War," says Greg Brick, a geologist at the U of M and author of Subterranean Twin Cities, a book about the caves, tunnels, and utility lines underground.

Using old pipes are nothing new to major cities. Water lines that are over 100 years old are fairly common and inspected regularly.

"Replacing something like that means digging up an entire city street," says Brick. "It's very expensive."

The portion of the cast iron pipe that ripped open has been replaced, but it's proof that infrastructure set in place 122 years ago can still be fully functional today.

"Underground there are layers and layers of history," says Brick. "Most of it is still in place and in good shape."

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