EPA Survey Estimates $384 Billion Needed For Drinking Water Infrastructure

A June 4 press release from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announces the release of EPA’s 5th Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey and Assessment.  The survey, which is required under the Safe Drinking Water Act, finds that $384 billion in drinking water infrastructure improvements  are needed through 2030 in order to maintain safe drinking water.  The survey was assembled in consultation with all 50 states and the Navajo Nation.  Many survey respondents indicated that their drinking water infrastructure was between 50 and 100 years old.  From the press release:

“A safe and adequate supply of drinking water in our homes, schools and businesses is essential to the health and prosperity of every American,” said EPA Acting Administrator Bob Perciasepe. “The survey EPA released today shows that the nation’s water systems have entered a rehabilitation and replacement era in which much of the existing infrastructure has reached or is approaching the end of its useful life. This is a major issue that must be addressed so that American families continue to have the access they need to clean and healthy water sources.”  …

The assessment shows that improvements are primarily needed in:

· Distribution and transmission: $247.5 billion to replace or refurbish aging or deteriorating lines
· Treatment: $72.5 billion to construct, expand or rehabilitate infrastructure to reduce contamination
· Storage: $39.5 billion to construct, rehabilitate or cover finished water storage reservoirs
· Source: $20.5 billion to construct or rehabilitate intake structures, wells and spring collectors

EPA uses the survey findings to help allocate state grants under the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund.