Water Pollution:

Alternative Strategies Needed to Reduce Wastewater Treatment Costs

T-RCED-92-84: Published: Aug 4, 1992. Publicly Released: Aug 4, 1992.

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GAO discussed its report on the states' ability to meet their wastewater treatment needs through state revolving funds (SRF). GAO noted that: (1) the Water Quality Act of 1987 phased out the Environmental Protection Agency's Construction Grants Program and replaced it with a program that authorized states to develop their own SRF programs; (2) SRF are effective for providing a subsidy to local government, but they will not generate enough funds to allow states to meet all of their wastewater treatment needs; (3) SRF are limited in the assistance they provide for small communities, which are receiving less than a proportional share of financial assistance from SRF; (4) the unmet needs in small communities will have significant health and environmental impacts; (5) the difficulty in financing wastewater treatment needs and the implications of the problem for public health underscore the need to rely more heavily on alternative strategies to lower wastewater treatment costs; and (6) several barriers may be impeding the use of wastewater treatment alternatives.

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