Continuing Need for Improved Operation and Maintenance of Municipal Waste Treatment Plants

CED-77-46: Published: Apr 11, 1977. Publicly Released: Apr 11, 1977.

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Operation and maintenance problems at municipal waste treatment plants constructed with federal grant assistance have been widespread for many years and have led to inefficient plant operations and the discharge of unnecessarily high pollution loads into the nation's waterways.

GAO visited 28 plants in six states and noted insufficient plant-operating personnel, inadequate budgets, inadequate controls over industrial wastes, inadequate laboratory controls, inadequate plant design and equipment, and infiltration/inflow problems. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is aware of the operation and maintenance problems and has identified actions necessary to correct some of them; however, its regional offices and the states have been slow to effectively implement these actions.

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