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NESC Media Room


 

Background


Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Facts

Clean, safe drinking water and adequate wastewater treatment are two of life's basic necessities. Properly functioning water and wastewater infrastructure are, therefore, critical to public and environmental health.

Progress is Ongoing

For most of us, it's easy to take water for granted. But not that long ago, most people didn't have indoor plumbing.

 

Much of this improvement can be attributed to federal infrastructure investment.

 

Challenges for Small Water and Wastewater Systems

Large water systems serve most of the population in the U.S. However, very small water systems (those serving fewer than 500 customers) and small systems those serving between 501 and 3,300 customers) represent the largest number of water systems. Because smaller systems have lower revenues and fewer resources, they are more likely to have trouble meeting increased regulations.

 

Aging Infrastructure

While significant progress has been made, a number of challenges confront communities as they try to safeguard public health. In many communities, water distribution systems and wastewater collection systems are 40 or 50 years old; in some, they date back more than a century.

 

i US Census Bureau

ii US EPA Office of Wastewater Management

iii US EPA Office of Wastewater Management

iv New York Times

v American Society of Civil Engineers

vi US EPA Aging Water Infrastructure Research Program

vii US EPA Aging Water Infrastructure Research Program

viii US EPA Aging Water Infrastructure Research Program

ix U.S. Census Bureau

x US EPA Federal Register Environmental Documents

xi US EPA Office of Wastewater Management

xii US EPA Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey and Assessment, Fourth Report to Congress

xiii US EPA Office of Groundwater and Drinking Water

xiv US EPA Office of Wastewater Management

xv US EPA Office of Wastewater Management

xvi US EPA Office of Groundwater and Drinking Water

xvii US EPA Office of Wastewater Management

xviii United States Government Accountability Office Report GAO-08-687T, the American Society of Civil Engineers

xix EPA's "Factoids: Drinking Water and Ground Water Statistics for 2008"

xx US EPA Office of Groundwater and Drinking Water

xxi US EPA Office of Groundwater and Drinking Water

xxii US EPA's Report on the Environment

xxiii American Society of Civil Engineers