As the population in the United States continues to grow, the demand for clean water is increasing. However, the infrastructure responsible for treating and distributing wastewater and stormwater is aging and struggling to keep up with the demand. The issue is further compounded by the fact that the regulatory compliance requirements for these systems are becoming more stringent, making it more challenging for operators and technicians to maintain and upgrade the infrastructure.
According to a report by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the United States wastewater and stormwater infrastructure received a grade of “D” in 2017, indicating poor overall condition and performance. The report estimates that the United States would need to invest approximately $150 billion over the next 20 years to upgrade and replace aging infrastructure.
The challenges facing wastewater and stormwater infrastructure are further compounded by the regulatory compliance requirements. The Clean Water Act of 1972 established national goals to eliminate the discharge of pollutants into U.S. waterways by 1985. Since then, the regulatory requirements have become more stringent, placing additional pressure on wastewater and stormwater infrastructure operators and technicians to meet compliance.
In the process of dealing with these infrastructural and regulatory hurdles, environmental sensors and instruments used to measure weather conditions play a crucial role. These tools help technicians monitor key indicators that directly influence our wastewater and stormwater operations, such as rainfall, liquid level, flow rate, wind, temperature, solar radiation, humidity, and more. Utilizing an array of environment measuring instruments allows facility operators to make accurate assessments and take necessary action to ensure optimal functioning of the systems.
One of the key challenges in meeting regulatory compliance requirements is aging infrastructure. As infrastructure ages, it becomes more difficult to maintain and repair, which can lead to increased discharge of pollutants and violations of regulatory requirements. In addition, older infrastructure is often not designed to handle the increased volumes of wastewater and stormwater resulting from population growth.
Tools to measure weather and environmental conditions are critical in managing these situations. Environmental sensors and other measuring instruments are used to monitor changing weather conditions and their impact on wastewater and stormwater systems. This allows for real time system adjustments to prevent regulatory violations and environmental harm.
The consequences of aging wastewater and stormwater infrastructure are significant. The discharge of pollutants into U.S. waterways can have a negative impact on public health, the environment, and the economy. The ASCE report estimates that a one-day disruption in water service would result in a $43.5 billion loss in sales for businesses, and $22.5 billion in wages and benefits for employees.
In conclusion, the aging wastewater and stormwater infrastructure in the United States is a critical issue that requires immediate attention. Investment in upgrading and replacing aging infrastructure is necessary to ensure regulatory compliance and protect public health, the environment, and the economy. Operators and technicians play a vital role in maintaining and upgrading the infrastructure, and policymakers must prioritize funding and regulatory measures to support their efforts.
On that note, if you’re looking for reliable and efficient environment measuring instruments, visit Comptus. Our range of environmental sensors and weather measurement tools are designed to help you monitor and manage your environmental systems effectively. Take the right step towards regulatory compliance and infrastructure improvement.