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Leaks cost drought-hit Houston 18 billion gallons

Leaks cost drought-hit Houston 18 billion gallons

POSTED: Friday, December 30, 2011 - 11:05am

UPDATED: Friday, December 30, 2011 - 11:09am

A review of Houston water records shows the city lost more than 18 billion gallons of water potentially worth tens of millions of dollars at the height of this summer's punishing drought.

A Houston Chronicle examination of records shows leaking and broken pipes sent more than 9 billion gallons of water down the drain in September in October alone when city officials were urging residents to conserve and had to tap into emergency supplies.

City officials told the newspaper the value of the water is difficult to measure. And they say they hired extra work crews from June until early this month to plug more than 11,000 pipeline breaks.

But records show many of those leaks took more than three weeks to fix.

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