U.S. Wastewater Infrastructure Faces Future Challenges


New users are continually being added to the centralized wastewater system. It is estimated that fifty-six million new users will be connected in the next twenty years. The nation has about 14,784 wastewater system plants which protect public health. Wastewater water treatment improves water quality by reducing the harmful toxins that affect health and contaminate water bodies. 

The treatment is usually superintended by public works department. They ensure that standards are being met before the treated water is discharged into the environment. Seventy-six percent of the population relies on the treatment plants for water sanitation.

Public sewers and private lateral sewers run across thousands of miles, but these systems are prone to blockages and overflows. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates about seventy-five thousand sewers overflow each year. As the numbers of users increase, it is important that wastewater systems be developed. It is also estimated that about 532 new systems will need to be constructed by 2032 to meet future needs.

In approximately 772 communities in the U.S., wastewater, and stormwater drain into the same treatment system. These communities often experience capacity issues during periods of a downpour. This occurrence affects water quality and also stresses many antiquated systems in the U.S. 

The EPA estimates two hundred and seventy-one billion dollars will be needed for wastewater infrastructure over the next twenty-five years. Local governments spend twenty billion annually on capital sewer expenditures and thirty billion on operation and maintenance. As the population continues to rise, new houses are constructed, rural households switch from septic system to public sewers which leads to pressure on the wastewater system; therefore, resulting in increased expenditure in tune of billions of dollars to meet federal statutory requirements.

Cities often complain that complying with federal wastewater regulations is very expensive, and it is one of their greatest expenditures. Because there is no federal funding for operations and management, the full burden falls on the rate payers.

In many cities increased sewer rates have not risen in years which would help alleviate rising costs of maintenance. In many cases, the public does not see or appreciate the convenience of wastewater treatment. Funding has therefore been difficult for wastewater system.

Through modern treatment methods, treated water can now be processed quicker and more efficiently funding such capital expenditures is challenging. 

Many advanced technologies developed over the past decade can help alleviate many of the challenges that municipalities face. Active Water Solutions has developed portable, packaged wastewater treatment systems that are simple to operate and can expand current system capabilities. This technology allows for easy plug and play system expansion without the costly expenses often associated with large-scale systems. 

Interested in learning more about how you can expand wastewater treatment capability without the high cost of a traditional system? Contact us today.