EPA survey finds $271 billion needed to shore up wastewater and stormwater treatment facilities

A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) study says $271 billion is needed to maintain and improve the nation’s wastewater infrastructure, including leaking pipes that carry wastewater to treatment plants, sewage treatment plant technology, and management of stormwater runoff.

“The only way to have clean and reliable water is to have infrastructure that is up to the task,” said Joel Beauvais, EPA’s Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator for Water. “Our nation has made tremendous progress in modernizing our treatment plants and pipes in recent decades, but this survey tells us that a great deal of work remains.”

Adequate wastewater infrastructure plays a vital role in the health of streams, rivers, and lakes, where discharged wastewater and stormwater runoff often end up. Wastewater infrastructure must also become more resilient to the impacts of climate change, including sea level rise, stronger and more frequent storms, flooding, and drought, according to the study released this week (1/13/16).

The cities of Davenport, Bettendorf and Riverdale (joint owners of the Davenport Sewage Treatment Plant) are in the midst of a 20-year $160-million upgrade of the sewage system agreed to under a court-approved consent order with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

CLICK HERE to read the full EPA news release.

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