About a third of water systems are running deficits
November 24, 2010

The EPA makes occasional surveys of the nation's estimated 50,000 community water systems, and the results of the latest survey have been published. The highlights of the report include observations that 18% of all systems use primarily purchased water (a number that is on the rise), that about 50% of all capital spending within water systems goes to transmission mains and distribution lines, and that a substantial portion of systems -- about a third of the publicly-owned systems -- are running operating deficits. Expenses for public systems rose by 57% between 2000 and 2006, and it's obvious that consumers have been isolated from that increase in costs. This is one of the reasons why we've presented several talks on issues like working with the mass media and marketing water systems to local communities at state conferences in our region over the last few years. It is essential for water systems of all sizes to do more to explain what we do and what resources we need in order to do it well. An old pamphlet from the AWWA carried the appropriate title "Silent Service is Not Enough!"

November 2010
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last revised November 2010