The water main that broke was 61 years old, but a spokesman for D.C. Water said, "We have pipes dating to the 1860s, the Civil War. The median age of our pipes is 79 years old, which means more than half of them are older than this one."
According to a 2013 American Society of Civil Engineers report, Washington, D.C. is having serious infrastructure issues. For example, almost all of the major roads are in poor condition, 21 bridges are structurally deficient, $1.6 billion is needed for its drinking water infrastructure, and $2.5 billion is needed for its wastewater infrastructure (see infrastructure graphic at "State Facts: District of Columbia").
And that's too bad, because the water mains of Washington, D.C. could use a New Deal.