EPA Survey Shows $271 Billion Needed for Nation’s Wastewater Infrastructure

Jennifer Wasinger

The EPA recently released the 2012 Clean Water Needs survey showing that $271 billion is needed to maintain and improve the nation’s wastewater infrastructure, including pipes to treatment plants, treatment technology and stormwater runoff methods. According to 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.” The survey identified needs in Texas, Oklahoma and North Carolina as $11.8 billion, $2.4 billion and $5.2 billion, respectively.

The $271 billion is primarily for projects needed within five years, such as:

  • $52.4 billion to meet secondary wastewater treatment standards

  • $49.6 billion for treatment plants upgrades to provide advanced treatment for nonconventional or toxic pollutants such as nitrogen, phosphorus, ammonia or metals

  • $51.2 billion to rehabilitate and repair conveyance systems

  • $44.5 billion to install new sewer collection systems, interceptor sewers and pumping stations

  • $48 billion to prevent periodic discharges of stormwater and untreated wastewater during wet-weather events

  • $19.2 billion for measures to control polluted runoff from storm events

  • $6.1 billion for conveyance and treatment of wastewater for reuse