Less than two weeks after a 114-year-old water pipe burst and flooded parts of the Freret neighborhood, the Sewerage and Water Board has provided a way to drill down on some of the sobering details. 

The city announced a new interactive graphic on Tuesday that maps the age of water mains in New Orleans, allowing users to see a citywide view or search by individual addresses. 

"Although much of historical New Orleans is cause for celebration, the age of her water pipes is not," agency officials wrote in a release announcing the new tool.

S&WB Executive Director Ghassan Korban presented the data as part of an event Tuesday put on by the Bureau of Government Research. 


HOW OLD ARE YOUR PIPES?

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Some takeaways: 

- 47.9 percent of the city's more than 1,500 miles of water pipes were installed before 1940, making them at least 80 years old

- Of those, 34.3 percent are 100 years old or older

- The map shows (in blue) that about 23 miles of pipe were replaced with FEMA disaster funding after Hurricane Katrina

- Separately, the agency itself has only replaced 21 pipes since 2000

- The lifespan of water mains, depending on the material used, is between 75 and 100 years


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The broken pipe on May 3 led to the city's latest boil water advisory, which was lifted the following day. Workers pulled the busted main from the ground the next day, which featured a large break in the side. 

A few days later, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell and Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards agreed to a deal that will funnel millions in taxpayer revenue to infrastructure repairs. 

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A piece of the 114-year-old water main that broke Friday, sits on the neutral ground on S Claiborne Ave near Soniat Street in New Orleans, Monday, May 6, 2019. Governor John Bel Edwards announced a deal with Mayor LaToya Cantrell that would supply the city with millions of dollars to benefit New Orleans streets and drainage system.

The pact will provide $50 million in coming weeks to the Sewerage & Water Board, which has warned that its drainage system does not have enough cash to finish out the year. The money would come from a combination of unspent state disaster money and funding from the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.

It also provides up to $26 million a year in new, recurring revenue that could be used for S&WB needs or other infrastructure projects. That money will largely come from higher taxes on hotels and short-term rentals, rededicated money that would be freed up by merging two tourism marketing agencies, and higher property taxes in the Central Business District.

The state will also delay $17.5 million in payments it had expected from the city for five years. Click here for more details

Beyond issues with bursting pipes, infrastructure repairs would also likely address the system's loss of nearly half the water leaving city treatment through various leaks. 

A report released in March found that leaks account for more than 82 million gallons of water processed by the S&WB per day, or more than 55 percent of all the water it treats.

Beyond the obvious financial concerns, leaks can erode the soil, causing sinkholes and other problems for the city’s roadways.

Advocate staff writers Jeff Adelson and Tyler Bridges contributed to this report.