San Francisco has been experiencing quite a few water main breaks over the past several years, due to aging infrastructure. One of the latest occurred at the intersection of Evans Avenue and Rankin Street, on December 23rd, when a pipe installed in 1935 broke, "causing major flooding and street closures" ("12-inch water main breaks, floods San Francisco streets," SFGate, December 23, 2016).
During the 1930s and 40s, New Deal work-relief programs built and repaired waterworks all across California. The WPA, for example, installed 1,200 miles of new water lines (perhaps including the one that broke in San Francisco on the 23rd).
Californians are still using many of these New Deal projects today, well past their intended lifespan. I don't think New Deal policymakers expected us to be lazy, and not update our infrastructure from time to time. But we have been lazy, and so we're experiencing about a quarter-of-a-million water main breaks across the country, every single year. And, as we've seen in various part of the U.S., our children sometimes drink lead from these crumbling water lines (as well as old plumbing) - causing bone, brain, and organ damage.
So, I guess we can tax these super-wealthy Americans more, and then use that money to help repair our dilapidated infrastructure, right? Well, unfortunately, no. You see, the super-wealthy don't like the idea of being taxed more. They feel that their "right" to buy private islands and gold bathtubs is far more important than providing clean drinking water to children. And since they've bought the politicians, and deluded the masses with their "job creator" propaganda (through the think tanks they've set up and the media outlets they control), the status quo of sick children and crumbling infrastructure will continue for the foreseeable future.
So, the residents of San Francisco (as well as the residents of the rest of the United States) will have to continue dealing with their epidemic of broken water mains, and continue wondering if their children are being poisoned by lead (or chromium 6, or Legionella bacteria, or diesel, or benzene, or 4-methylcyclohexane methanol) - while their right-wing & libertarian fellow citizens yell at them, "We can't tax the job creators! Taxes are theft!!"
We're living in strange times.