The Water Systems Cost Savings Act (H.R 3533, "Savings Act") has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Reps. Richard Hanna of New York and Jim Cooper of Tennessee. The bill is intended to reduce federal, state and local costs of providing high quality drinking water to millions of Americans in rural communities by facilitating the use of cost-effective alternatives like water well systems.
"We commend Rep. Richard Hanna and Rep. Jim Cooper for their leadership in bringing a reliable, cost-effective legislative solution to millions of Americans who lack an affordable water delivery system for their daily needs," said Bo Andersson, past president of the Water Systems Council and president of Flomatic Corporation.
Traditional municipal water systems don't work in every community, or they are too expensive, Hanna says. "Fortunately, there are other options. Communities seeking federal assistance to upgrade their water infrastructure should be given the most comprehensive information possible so that they can build the most appropriate and cost-effective system that best meets their unique needs.”
Cooper says the bill will allow the flexibility to choose the clean water sources that best suit specific communities, whether city water or water well.
The most recent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Drinking Water Needs Survey found a shortfall of $64 billion in drinking water infrastructure funding for small communities. The Water Systems Cost Savings Act will update existing EPA and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs to provide cost-saving information to small communities facing drinking water challenges. The legislation also ensures that alternative drinking water supplies such as individual, shared and community wells be considered in applications for federal funding for drinking water systems serving 500 or fewer people.
The Savings Act is supported by leading rural drinking water organizations, including the Water Systems Council, the Water Quality Association and the National Ground Water Association.
"The effectiveness of water wells as a reliable, low-cost way to provide access to safe drinking water has been proven in projects across the nation that have realized costs savings of as much as 94 percent over conventional drinking water systems. This legislation is a win for rural America and for the American taxpayer,” says Margaret Martens, executive director of the Water Systems Council.
The Water Systems Council works to protect groundwater and to ensure private well users in the United States have safe, reliable drinking water. For more information, visit www.watersystemscouncil.org.