The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Water Systems Improvements
The Infrastructure Investment and Job Act will have far-reaching effects across the nation. This law seeks to improve safety and create jobs by investing in projects like bridges, roads, and high-speed internet access. Improvements to local water systems are a large piece of the bipartisan law funding plan. Every state, Tribal nation, and territory will receive millions of dollars for water system upgrades. Over the next few years, $50 billion will fund projects that preserve regional water sources, remove lead distribution pipes, and address contaminates like PFAs.
What is the EPA?
The Environmental Protection Agency is the federal organization responsible for protecting the environment and the health of American citizens. The EPA creates standards of safe drinking water for local water supplies. While Congress passes laws like the Safe Drinking Water Act, it tasks the EPA with carrying them out.
This organization will have an important role to play as local water suppliers begin to invest funds in water systems. The EPA will track the improvement progress and guide the water safety priorities of local providers.
Safe Drinking Water and Lead Pipe Removal
The infrastructure law will invest $15 billion for lead pipe replacement. Lead service pipes have been used in water distribution systems for thousands of years. However, public health concerns about lead poisoning have ended the practice in the past few decades.
Unfortunately, 6 to 10 million lead service pipes are still active. As these pipes age, they are more likely to corrode and leach into a home’s drinking water. Replacing them with a safer alternative has been put off because of the cost. The new infrastructure funding hopes to remedy that situation.
What is the EPA doing about clean water?
While lead pipe replacement is a significant focus of infrastructure funding, the EPA has a broader mandate to improve the water supply. Superfund sites involve both environmental concerns and social justice issues. The 1980 Superfund act required businesses that produced heavy pollution to repair any environmental damage. However, some polluted sites for which a responsible party had long since disappeared. Many of these sites impact the water quality of nearby low-income neighborhoods.
Congress is supposed to appropriate funds for the EPA to clean such areas, but there has been a chronic funding shortage. Without the necessary resources for remediation, these sites will continue to leach chemicals into local water resources. The Infrastructure Investment and Job Act allocates $1 billion to superfund site cleanup. This investment will improve the quality of life for nearby residents.
Improving Water Distribution and Wastewater Treatment with SCADA
As local water utilities consider how to best use the Bipartisan Law funding, they would be wise to consider implementing SCADA technology. A supervisory control and data acquisition system is a powerful tool for improving water distribution, collection, and treatment systems. With SCADA, sensors throughout the water supply infrastructure send data to a central terminal. Managers can view the performance of the whole system from a single location.
The sensors can send information about flow volume, impurity levels, and water pressure. This data will help the utility make informed day-to-day decisions. Automatic alerts help repair crews spot minor problems before they disrupt service. Tracking impurity levels will establish priorities for future water system upgrades.
The Advantages of Cloud-Based SCADA
High Tide Technologies specializes in cloud-based SCADA systems for municipal water distribution and wastewater treatment plants. Sending data to the cloud makes it accessible to more people in the organization. Staff members in the field can view real-time information on their portable devices, offering faster response times and fewer service disruptions.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is an opportunity for local water systems to make significant improvements. Contact us today if you’re considering SCADA as part of your upgrade plans.