Boasting a new federal investment of $550 billion in American communities, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal recently passed by the senate is expected to boost the US economy by creating jobs and enhancing sustainability efforts. With new infrastructure ranging from interstate highways and electric buses to lead-free service lines and resilient water infrastructure, the deal is likely to affect nearly all municipal sectors. Its impact will be positively felt in communities for decades to come. In particular, the water and wastewater industries will benefit from historic clean water initiatives and significant infrastructure overhauls in areas of the country most impacted by floods and droughts.
Many wastewater operators are fighting an uphill battle. Underground infrastructure across North America is reaching a critical age, and regular inspection and maintenance are essential to ensuring system function. But those require skilled labor and money—which are in short supply in many municipalities.
Though California’s most recent drought may have officially ended in early March, that doesn’t mean the City of Angels is out of the woods. Currently, Los Angeles relies on a variety of sources for its potable water needs. Thirty-six percent of its supply comes from the Owens River, Mono Lake Basin and the Sierra Nevada Mountains via the Los Angeles Aqueduct. Another 52% of the city’s water comes from the Colorado River. Approximately 11% of the city’s water comes from groundwater. The remaining portion of the city’s supply, about 2%, comes from recycled water. But a new resolution from Mayor Eric Garcetti’s administration intends to change that: They’ve vowed to recycle all of the city’s wastewater by 2035.
Are you familiar with common wastewater regulations and who enforces them? Find out by taking our Sewer Regulations Quiz and then challenge your coworkers to beat your score.