New American Society of Civil Engineers National Infrastructure Report Reinforces Need to Act on Updating and Maintaining U.S. Water Systems
Apr 07, 2021
The American Society of Civil Engineers’ latest Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, issued every four years since 2001, recently gave the nation’s drinking water systems a C- grade and its wastewater systems a D+ grade.
This remains in line with previous reports and heightens the sense of urgency to take actions to improve this important, but often overlooked part of our nation’s infrastructure.
“This year’s ASCE grades on drinking water and wastewater infrastructure have come in, and we continue to see a dire national need to upgrade, repair, and maintain a vast system responsible for the essential services that help keep our lives flowing,” said Bruce Aiton, director of engineering for Pennsylvania American Water. “Pennsylvania American Water has already been addressing infrastructure needs through consistent investment in our systems, which is evidenced by our company’s excellent compliance record compared to municipal systems.”
Pennsylvania American Water plans to invest approximately $1.1 billion in system improvements over the next three years to continue to provide safe, reliable service to customers. The company recently provided a recap of its $400 million of infrastructure upgrades in 2020 despite the COVID-19 public health emergency.
The price tag for the critical upkeep and replacement of the nation’s outdated water systems is at least $1 trillion over the next 25 years, according to estimates by the American Water Works Association. While it is a challenge, investing in water and wastewater systems has many benefits.
Water infrastructure investments prove their value every day,” added Aiton. “From projects to replace water mains, pipelines, and hydrants, and the installation of advanced metering technology to help reduce water leaks, to enhanced treatment capabilities improving efficiency and reliability, the investments we’ve made into the system allow us to continue to meet customer needs in the communities we serve.”
“One of the reasons we want to make our customers aware of the ASCE Report Card is to highlight the critical nature of these issues and let them know their bills play an important role in system renewal and future reliability,” said Aiton. “By supporting capital improvements, customers and Pennsylvania American Water are working together to help keep the water flowing now and well into the future. While much work needs to be done to raise the grade of the nation’s aging water infrastructure, we are committed to addressing the challenge across the Commonwealth and the country.”
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