For many years, humans have treated wastewater to protect human and ecological health from waterborne diseases. Since the 1970’s many influencers have contributed to the improved quality of effluent water. Despite the improvements, point source discharges continue to be a significant contributor to degradation of surface water quality. In addition, much of the existing wastewater infrastructure, including collection systems, treatment plants, and equipment, has deteriorated and is in need of repair or replacement.
51% of river and stream miles, 67% of lake acres, 71% of estuarine square miles, and 98% of Great Lakes shoreline miles that have been assessed are classified as impaired by the EPA.
19% of households are not served by public sewers and usually depend on septic tanks to treat and dispose of wastewater. Failing septic systems may contaminate surface and groundwater.
This is just one of hundreds of studies that support the need to actively protect, support and rebuild our water systems.