The June 2022 Water and Wastewater Market Recap covers interesting and useful water industry news for this month. It contains updates on industry drivers, notable projects, and recent mergers and acquisitions, as well as some interesting reads, and upcoming upcoming meetings and conferences.
Our data team tracks major developments in the water industry, which we call drivers. Here are some of the most important drivers from last month.
New Jersey Water Bank (NJWB) Intended Use Plan for FY 2022/23
Organization: Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) of New Jersey
Summary: On May 31, 2022, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) of New Jersey released a final Intended Use Plans (IUP) that includes a multi-billion-dollar request for drinking water quality improvement projects to protect public health and upgrade the water waste treatment system. The IUPs are specifically posted for State Revolving funds for Federal Fiscal year 2022/State Fiscal Year 2023. Near 700 applicants have submitted their project ideas totaling $6.79 billion. These plans provide information on how funds available through the New Jersey Water Bank will be used to provide financial assistance for clean water and drinking water projects and identify state policies governing loan awards. The department is prioritizing projects that improve water quality in overburdened communities. Through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the federal government has provided $169 million in funding to the DEP through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). The $169 million is the first of five allotments through the law.
Water Resources Development Act of 2022
Organization: U.S. House of Representatives
Summary: On June 8, 2022, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2022, which provides $25.3 billion to address water infrastructure funding, with significant support to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) projects. It helps provide much-needed investment in ports, improve management of inland waterways, and fund flood control and coastal resiliency projects. Since 2014, the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee of the House has created the WRDA every two years. The Bill will authorize the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to take measures to address issues with water supply and wastewater infrastructure, flood control, navigation, and ecosystem restoration, such as shoreline restoration. The Act is currently waiting on the approval of the Senate.
USMCA Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement
Organization: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. International Boundary and Water Commission (USIBWC)
Summary: On June 10, 2022, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. International Boundary and Water Commission (USIBWC) proposed to fund and implement the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement Mitigation of Contaminated Transboundary Flows Project. The Project would mitigate the health and environmental impacts on the Tijuana, Mexico, and San Diego, California coastal beaches resulting from transboundary contaminated flows from the Tijuana River. The Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) is part of the environmental review process and sets a framework for future funding decisions announced by EPA in November 2021. The Draft PEIS includes the option of taking no action along with two alternative approaches to address the purpose and need of the Project. These are a limited funding approach for implementing the Proposed Action and a more comprehensive solution for implementing the Proposed Action. The EPA and USIBWC are also planning to invite people to review and implement the Draft PEIS. The Project is expected to start in early 2023 and cost $300 million.
What Utilities Need to Know about EPA’s PFAS Health Advisories
Organization: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Summary: On June 15, 2022, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released health advisories for four per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).
The new warnings for synthetic pollutants in drinking water known as "forever chemicals" are linked with cancers, liver damage, low birth weight, and other health problems. The agency warned that the toxins can still be harmful even at levels so low they are not detectable. Two of the health advisories are interim for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), and two are final for hexafluoropropylene dimer acid (HFPO-DA or GenX) and perfluorobutanesulfonic acid (PFBS). From a total of $5 billion in financing in last year's infrastructure package, the agency would provide the first $1 billion to combat PFAS in drinking water. The funding would be used to give technical help to states, water quality monitoring, and the implementation of centralized treatment systems. The EPA intends to publish new PFAS management guidelines in the coming months. The alerts are meant to provide states, tribes, and water systems with information on PFAS pollution until the laws take effect.
Notable Capital Improvement Programs
Here are some recent, notable Capital Improvement Programs (CIPs). FirmoGraphs has deconstructed the CIPs into data elements, along with available project descriptions. Please feel free to request a meeting and review the data live in our business intelligence application.
Salt Lake City Public Utilities, Utah, Capital Spending Increased by 4%
In the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) for 2022-2026, Salt Lake City Public Utilities detailed plans to spend $1.04 billion on capital projects, an increase of 4% from $1 billion in the 2021-2025 CIP. The current CIP has 896 discrete projects, compared to 987 projects in the prior CIP. The table below breaks down the planned capital spending for Salt Lake Public Utilities by business area for its last two CIPs.
Planned Water Utility Spending Swells
Planned spending in the Water Utility business area increased to $347.7 million, a 101.6% increase from the prior period. The $175 million increase is going towards new and existing projects. The new, major projects related to the Big Cottonwood Water Treatment Plant are currently valued at over $120 million. There is also a $10 million increase going towards Treatment Plant Upgrades. Additionally, a new business area is being added to the current CIP, Street Lighting Utility, with Base Level Projects worth $9.5 million.
Sewer Utility Projects Still Receive Substantial Investments
With $451.8 million planned, the largest single project is the Design Build Water Reclamation Facility. Programmed amounts for this project decreased by nearly $108 million compared to the prior CIP because it is currently under construction and expected to be completed by 2025. Sundt Construction, Inc. is working on this project.
Massachusetts Water Resource Authority Cuts Planned Capital Spending by 3%
In the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) for 2022-2028, MWRA detailed plans to spend a bit over $2.51 billion on capital projects, a decrease of 3% from nearly $2.6 billion in the 2021-2028 CIP. The current CIP has 1,092 discrete projects. The table below breaks down the planned capital spending for MWRA by business area (BA) for its last two CIPs.
Wastewater Categories Note Decrease; Increases in Water Categories
Planned spending in the Wastewater Treatment business area increased by 6.5% to $784.6 million. The nearly $50 million increase goes toward replacing obsolete equipment and systems, resulting in lower maintenance and operating costs, including Digester Storage Tank Rehabilitation - Construction project worth $55 million and Odor Control Rehabilitation Construction project worth $41.9 million. Wastewater Treatment is the biggest business area in the wastewater department and has increased intended funds in current CIP, but all other business areas related to wastewater note decreases.
The water department, on the other hand, has planned spending increases in most business areas. Most notable is a $17.4 million increase in Water Distribution and Pumping, due to the mitigation of pipeline leaks and failures under the Cathodic Protection of Distribution Mains project worth $56.5 million. Another noteworthy increase will come from the installment of new valves under the Northern Low Service Rehabilitation ‐ Section 8 project worth $53.8 million. There is one decrease, at 16.2%, that is from the Water Transmission business area. This decrease will result from finished projects, such as the Watershed Land Acquisition and the Cosgrove Tunnel Redundancy projects.
Pipeline Replacement Projects Receive Substantial Investments
The current CIP has seven projects valued at more than $50 million. Listed below are the three most notable projects and their proposed spending.
- Local Water System Assistance Phase 3 Distributions - valued at $190 million under the Other Waterworks business area; this is the continuation of the Local Water Assistance Program to provide water system communities with pipeline replacements, cleaning and lining, water metering, and other local water system improvements.
- Clarifier Rehabilitation Phase 2 Construction - valued at $149 million under the Wastewater Treatment business area; this is the rehabilitation of the sludge removal system, effluent launders, and aeration systems repair, and repair and coating of concrete corrosion, noted during the 1st Phase of Clarifier Rehabilitation.
- Tunnel Construction - valued at $98.7 million under the Waterworks Transmission business area.
The following M&A transactions in the Power Generation and Supply Industry stand out in the month of June:
- On June 06, 2022, Pennsylvania American Water acquired wastewater system assets of the City of York.
- On June 07, 2022, Illinois American Water acquired Village of Hardin water and wastewater systems.
- On June 16, 2022, NextEra Water Pennsylvania agree to acquire wastewater system of Towamencin Township.
- On June 30, 2022, Pennsylvania American Water acquired wastewater system assets of Upper Pottsgrove Township.
What We Are Reading
Here are some recent articles our team has been reading:
- EPA Takes Action to Empower States, Territories, and Tribes to Protect Water Resources and Support Sustainable Development
- California opens $193M to water infrastructure proposals
- Texas Water approves $73M for wastewater, stormwater projects
- West County Wastewater pursues infrastructure upgrade project
- EPA Announces New Drinking Water Health Advisories for PFAS Chemicals, $1 Billion in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Funding to Strengthen Health Protections
- WRF funds 22 new water research projects
- PFAS 'forever chemicals' are everywhere. Here's what you should know about them
- Michigan to invest $1.9B in water infrastructure
- PFAS Remediation Plans Approved
- South Florida Water Toxic, Officials Look the Other Way
- EPA’s new ultralow PFAS health advisory levels portend regulatory and litigation risks - but do not overextend them
- PFAS found in more communities near DOD sites
- Maryland issues consent order for Baltimore WWTP
- Austin Water achieves digital meter milestone
Organizations have shifted their event strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are tracking these changing meeting plans.
Meetings in July and August 2022
- ACWA Annual Washington, D.C. Conference - July 12 - July 14, 2022
- AWWA Transformative Issues Symposium - Aug. 1 - Aug 3, 2022
- AZ-AWWA Annual Tri-State Seminar - Aug. 8 - Aug. 11, 2022
- ACWA Annual CA Water Data Summit - Aug. 17 - Aug. 18, 2022
- WF&M Water Finance Conference - Aug. 17 - Aug. 18, 2022
- CS-AWWA Tri Association Conference - Aug. 30 - Sept. 2, 2022
- Annual KWEA / KsAWWA Water & Wastewater Conference - Aug. 30 - Sept. 1, 2022
Early Bird Registrations
- Event: AWWA Transformative Issues Symposium
Dates: Aug. 1 - Aug 3, 2022
Deadline for Early Registration: July 7, 2022
- Event: WCA-AWWA Canadian Residuals and Biosolids Conference
Dates: Sept. 18 - Sept. 21, 2022
Deadline for Early Registration: July 7, 2022
- Event: ACWA Annual Watereuse California Conference
Dates: Sept. 9 - Sept. 13, 2022
Deadline for Early Registration: July 15, 2022
Call for Papers
- Event: AWWA Sustainable Water Management Conference
Dates: Apr. 16 - Apr. 19, 2023
Deadline for Call for Papers: Aug. 4, 2022