RUTLAND - A testament to the old adage "built-to-last," a section of a Rutland City water pipe that was constructed during the gaslight years of the 1880s, was finally replaced last week; the pipe served the water needs of city residents for more than 129 years.
According to city officials, the pipe section is not the oldest in Rutland. Several underground sections, dating to the Civil War era, are still delivering water to homes and businesses downtown.
Last week's "fossil pipe" removal by a Rutland Public Works crew included a 21-inch long section of a 3-inch line along Chestnut Avenue.
The section of pipe replaced last week came after residents along Chestnut Avenue complained of reduced water flow.
In terms of updating water infrastructure in Rutland City, the old Vermonter saying, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" still applies to underground Rutland.
Rutland City Public Works Commissioner Alan Shelvey remarked that there are 30 miles of subterranean pipes that appear to predate the Civil War; the miles of antique pipes are still functioning.