Joint Meeting of Essex & Union Counties

Public Outreach

Water Infrastructure Awareness

Water Is LifeWater is life! It is essential to our health, our economy, our environment. It supports our quality of life.

Seventy percent of earth is covered by water, but only one percent is accessible freshwater. Though water is a renewable resource, clean, safe water is crucial for human health. Drinking water treatment virtually eliminated waterborne diseases and increased life expectancy in the U.S. by 30 years. The EPA sets standards for eighty water contaminants.

In America, we've come to expect clean water.In America, we've come to expect clean water.

We flush our toilets and drain our sinks, showers, bath tubs and dishwashers everyday. There are 54,000 drinking water systems and 800,000 miles of pipes provided to 250 million Americans. There are 16,000 water treatment systems and 800,000 miles of sewer line processed from 160 million Americans.

$45B in commercial seafood, fishing, and US. agricultureWater Infrastructure & Economic Growth

Clean Water Supports:

  • $50 billion per year recreation industry
  • $300 billion in coastal tourism
  • $45 billion in commercial seafood, fishing, and U.S. agriculture
  • Development depends on clean water and wastewater treatment
  • America's public water systems impact nearly every sector of the economy!

Water Infrastructure and the EnvironmentWastewater Infrastructure & the Environment

Each year, 50 million tons of pollutants are prevented from reaching America's coasts, lakes and waterways due to wastewater treatment plants. A total of 7 million dry tons of biosolids are recycled yearly. Once treated, our wastewater returns to these sources to be used over and over again.

Infrastructure includes...

  • Wetlands
  • Retention Ponds
  • "Green" Systems

America's Infrastucture Systems Needs HelpSo what's the problem?

America's Infrastructure Systems Needs Attention

In 10 years, water pollution levels may deteriorate to those observed in the 1970s if we do not invest in our infrastructure. Water and wastewater pipes and plants will soon need to be replaced, and new water and wastewater treatment plants will be required. It's a big task, takes short-term and long-range planning, and takes reinvestment.

Currently, the Federal Government provides financial assistance, has regulatory requirements, and enforces Federal Water Laws such as the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act. Most funding for drinking water and wastewater services comes from local ratepayers and taxpayers.

How can you help?How can you help?

  • Be informed of the water and wastewater needs of your community
  • Support reinvestments as utility rates rise
  • Participate in water related programs available in your community
  • Speak up and out about reinvesting
  • Take a tour of your local utilities
  • Do not take water for granted
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