Utilities and public works organizations that manage large infrastructure replacement, repair or maintenance jobs are trying to dramatically reduce the amount of time it takes to complete their tasks. So much so, that a recent list of priorities created by the American Waste Water Association mentions “the renewal and replacement of aging water and wastewater infrastructure” as the number one priority facing water companies in 2021. This aspect of the business is so important, it outranks finding financing for capital improvements and securing long term water availability.
Don’t just take our word for it – Cheryl Porter, Chief Operating Officer of the Great Lakes Water Authority, says:
“The aging infrastructure of Great Lakes Water Authority continues to deteriorate, raising maintenance and repair costs. To build resiliency, we are simultaneously working to meet stringent standards for safe and clean drinking water while investing in the maintenance and renewal of critical infrastructure that is vital to our community.”
This also raises the challenges of compliance with current and future regulations surrounding the water industry and the costs associated with the task.
Facing the Challenge
The top recurring challenges reflect the complexity of how water utilities address and pay for the replacement of aging infrastructure. The water community, along with public and private partners, continues to develop and refine innovative solutions, but there is still widespread trouble with handling the process as a whole. These can range anywhere from securing financing for capital projects and improvements, to emergency preparedness and even trying to raise public awareness of the importance of the entire water infrastructure system. This understanding of the importance of clean water is critical in securing the future funding needed to fix these infrastructure problems and to address the myriad of other issues facing the water industry today.
However, help is coming – the Biden Administration’s infrastructure plan’s early proposals include $56 billion in grants and loans to upgrade and modernize water systems, $45 billion for lead service line replacement and $10 billion for other improvements and upgrades. Congress introduced several bills in early 2021 aimed at increasing federal support for upgrading and maintaining the nation’s water infrastructure.
With this financing becoming available to the nation’s water and wastewater companies, there are solutions out there that make it easier to inspect, repair and replace the nation’s aging infrastructure systems and recover some of the costs. ARCOS is a proven partner to water companies and can help you mitigate and recover what is spent. Check out how ARCOS can help with storm cost recovery and be a partner in your success.