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The Need to Standardize Water & Wastewater Equipment Solutions for Utilities

by Casey O'Leary

Water utilities and wastewater treatment systems across the United States are becoming more of a “patchwork” of different systems than ever before. While many larger urban areas and established communities are often served by public water treatment sites and municipalities, there are towns big and small, as well as rural communities that are being served by either public-private partnerships (P3s), not-for-profit private water systems, or for-profit water systems.

One of the biggest challenges in this patchwork of different water delivery systems and wastewater treatment systems is that the equipment needed by all these systems is all over the board as far as manufacturing goes. It is become an incredible challenge especially for smaller private water systems serving rural and small communities (responsible for serving nearly 36 million people) to manage operations and maintenance costs. The wide variations of different types of equipment for delivering water and treating wastewater safely only increase costs. Water and wastewater treatment standardization are becoming a critical issue.

The hope is that increased standardization will help to lower, or at least dampen, water and wastewater costs. It is no secret that providing safe, clean water for a community requires significant funding resources. Growing communities need infrastructure updates and additions to serve the ever-growing developments. Facilities and maintenance costs are always rising. O&M costs are also on the rise. This is one reason so many municipal and county governments struggle to keep up with the need for water infrastructure improvements. They rely on taxes, usage fees and sometimes bonds for upkeep. P3s include private capital into this mix, but smaller private water utilities need to provide these same services with private funding, whether they are a not-for-profit or a for-profit venture. In either case, careful management is needed so that the infrastructure used for wastewater treatment systems is reliable and safe for their respective communities.

One of the big demands in standardization across the board, but especially for these smaller systems is “modularization” with respect to systems and equipment. Water utilities of all stripes want high-quality equipment from trusted manufacturers that can be modularly applied within the system so that growth and expansion into new housing and commercial developments does not require an entirely new “re-think” of the existing system. Think of this as the “USB” port of the water treatment world. If water utility companies can count on manufacturers to create these standardized solutions in a modular way (such as loading size or flow capacity standardization), it will be much easier to add extra modules as they add new developments. This will streamline the planning process for utilities, helping them to control their costs, provide quality water and wastewater treatment for their customers and plan for future growth.
To learn more about how Desalitech can help you address your municipal water treatment challenges effectively through standardized, modular water treatment solutions, contact our water treatment experts and be sure to sign up for our free water quality assessment today.

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