Wastewater Treatment

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Wastewater Management/Treatment - US

There were more authoritative articles than reports regarding the status of waste management and treatment infrastructures in the past two years; therefore we have included a couple more relevant articles and the relevant reports that we identified.


A Path to Clean Water

  • The use of chemicals will grow as the human population continues to grow and climate change and grow the need for clean water. This article cites an urgent need to prevent contamination at the source and the need for chemicals that will rapidly degrade in the environment due to the diversity and volume of chemicals increasingly being used.
  • Limitations of advanced wastewater and potable treatments limited by increased demand for energy and additional chemicals, incomplete removal or for some pollutants no removal, and unwanted products from parent compounds that can be more toxic. Microplastics cannot be fully removed, and advanced treatments can lead to increased transfer of antibiotic resistant genes, enhancement of opportunistic bacteria, and bacterial population shifts.
  • US Clean Water Act Amendments support an input prevention approach that aims to use fewer chemicals in manufacturing, using biodegradable products, and separating auxiliary chemicals in closed loops for eventual reuse and recycling.
  • Recent developments in green and sustainable chemistry, including pharmaceutical chemistry, can help in input reduction.

Evolving wastewater infrastructure paradigm to enhance harmony with nature

  • The authors show that sustainability principles can be embedded into the life phases of the wastewater systems to produce better outcomes than conventional designs. They call their approach the REPURE approach.
  • Multidisciplinary approaches that can help maintain ecosystems and satisfy human demands. One approach is using micro algal systems integrated in the current system to enhance energy balances and substantially reduce onsite carbon emissions.

Study of Treated Wastewater Detects Chemicals from Drug Production Facilities

  • USGS scientists studied 20 facilities in 9 states and Puerto Rico, and in 13 of them received water from pharmaceutical manufacturers and domestic households and six from domestic households only. They found concentrations of bupropion 452 times higher from the wastewater plants than those
  • The US Geological Survey visited 13 wastewater facilities in nine states and Puerto Rico and found hefty concentrations of pharmaceutical chemicals coming in from the manufacturers.

The aging water infrastructure: Out of sight, out of mind?

  • The US depends on an aging infrastructure that is filled with aging or aged pipes resulting in about 24,000 water main breaks per year, about $2.6 billion. Between 2013 and 2020, The Army Core of Civil Engineers estimate the cost to business will increase to $147 billion, up from $59 billion in 2010.
  • Major investment is necessary but it is not clear where it will come from, and innovations in technology, public policy, and funding are urgent needs.
  • Without including the cost of new or repairing infrastructure, restoring underground lead pipes will cost at least $1 trillion over the next 25 years.

2018 — The Year Of Smart Wastewater

  • Smart Wastewater made major industry advancements in 2017 including making new ways to detect and prevent combined sewer overflows, invented a smart wastewater pumping system, and use of innovative business models such as data-as-a-service, and demonstrated a growing interest in advanced sensor applications.
  • Using EmNet's real time control solution a company can leverage data analytic and control valves while adapting to changing storm conditions and was effectively used by the City of South Bend, IN and reduced their overflow events from 27 to 1.
  • The other smart wastewater trends include: detecting and preventing CSOs, real-time network control, funding green initiative, maximizing pump efficiency, and implementing the DaaS business model. They cite how trend-setting cities like South Bend are providing a framework for integration of smart wastewater solutions in the future.


2017 Infrastructure Report Card

  • The report card rated the wastewater infrastructure at a D+. They state that the demand on wastewater treatment plants will increase by more than 23% by 2032. Through new methods and technologies that turn waste into energy and 1,269 biogas plants are helping to better manage waste through reuse.
  • Over the next 20 years, it is estimated that there will be more than 56 million new users and the system will require $271 billion to meet current and future demand.
  • In 2015, EPA finalized the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System electronic reporting rule requiring filing of combined sewer overflows that release untreated human and industrial waste, toxic substances, debris and other pollutants into the environment.
  • Cities and towns report compliance with federal wastewater and storm water regulations are some of their costliest capital infrastructure costs.
  • Since Hurricane Sandy, many plants across the US have developed resilience plans and strengthened their infrastructure against storms and floods.
  • Treatment plants are starting to use nutrient recovery programs (biogas) with biosolids instead of shipping to landfills. This process allows them to be used as fertilizer or even for energy. New treatment methods like reverse osmosis, ozone, and UV light can treat more wastewater and with a cleaner, purer result.
  • They give some recommendations to improve the grade to be: reinvigorate the State Revolving Loan Fund (SRF) under the Clean Water Act, fully fund the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act, finance the national shortfall by establishing a federal Water Infrastructure Trust Fund, amongst others.

Wastewater Infrastructure: Overview, Funding, and Legislative Developments

  • National funding needs remain high, and will need $271 billion over the next 20 years to meet standards. This includes $197 billion for treatment and collection systems, $48 billion for CSO corrections, $19 for storm water management, and $6 billion for recycling systems.
  • This report talks about all the available funding for infrastructure such as the Clean Water Revolving Fund Program, WIFIA program, and other federal programs such as through the Department of Agriculture amongst others.

Future wastewater infrastructure needs and capital costs

  • This report identified over 1,050 necessary wastewater infrastructure projects at a cost of over $4.99 billion. The age of their infrastructure continues to be an issue and a high percentage is near the limit of its life expectancy. CSOs are not a big issue now due to construction efforts in the 80s.
  • The $4.99 billion project costs are distributed between wastewater treatment and sewer system projects.
  • Minnesota has additional protections to account for their unique environment such as wild rice has cultural and ecological importance and therefore they have adopted standards to protect it from sulfate. They have also adopted nutrient standards to protect lakes and rivers from nutrient enrichment.

Wastewater Treatment Equipment Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Equipment

  • The US is one of the largest markets for wastewater equipment due to its advanced technological capabilities.
  • This report lists insights including: industry insights; process, equipment, application, regional and treatment equipment market share.
  • The segments covered are equipment, occupational, process, application, and regional.


  • The infrastructure in the US is old and degraded and is going to require massive amounts of funding to fix, replace and upgrade it. Storms can cause current plants to overflow, specifically in southern and other rainy states, and also sewer overflows cause millions of untreated water to be released into nearby waterways.
  • There is a need for technological advancements and alternative means of treating waste water especially in light of the surge in expected demands that will be placed on it in the next 20 years. Ecological solutions should also be integrated into the life stages of the treatment cycle for better results.
  • Smart wastewater solutions have been introduced as of 2017, and with proven results and they should be pursued by other vicinities nationwide due to their proven efficacies.
  • We found a study that forecasts Wastewater Treatment Equipment Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Equipment from 2019 through 2025, it gives a little information for free but the rest is available behind a paywall.
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Wastewater Management/Treatment - Global

A thorough search was done across the reports and articles on wastewater management and treatment in countries of India, Brazil, Canada, France, Korea, Kenya, among others. We found a United Nations report that provided an in-depth assessment of wastewater management practices around the world, and how it compares with the Sustainable Development Goals of 2030.


1. Rethinking wastewater management in India —

  • Link: www.thethirdpole.net/en/2017/05/15/rethinking-wastewater-management-in-india
  • Due to the inefficient use of wastewater management, India is unable to properly use its resources economically.
  • The article and the study therein establishes that benefits of recovered resources from wastewater can make economic benefits for practitioners to adopt circular economy pathways of wastewater management.

2. Transforming sewage into valuable resources in Korea —

  • Link: iwa-network.org/news/transforming-sewage-into-valuable-resources-in-korea
  • The article looks at how Korea transformed its cities by efficient wastewater management policies.
  • Korea Environment Corporation (K-eco) also won The International Water Association’s prestigious Best Practices on Resource Recovery from Water Award, 2017, jointly with Saemul Park, Anyang, South Korea; due to its efforts in Wastewater management sector.

3. The system of wastewater treatment rationing will be changed in Russia —

  • Link: www.ecwatech.ru/en/ecwatech_news/minstroyrf_ammendment_to_the_wastewater_legislation
  • The article discusses the proposal of a new wastewater management system in Russia, as the old one was inefficient and out of world standard.
  • According to this proposal, the adoption will allow standardization of wastewater according to their type and to enable the application of technological standards to achieve the optimized technologies in the field of wastewater treatment.

4. Watercare Service’s wastewater treatment plant is New Zealand’s largest —

  • Link: www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/local-news/manukau-courier/99814893/watercare-services-wastewater-treatment-plant-is-new-zealands-largest
  • The article looks at the excellent wastewater management facilities in New Zealand.
  • The article reports that the Māngere facility is the largest wastewater treatment plant in Australasia.

5. Managing Sludge Mountains: What Beijing Can Learn From Brazil —

  • Link: www.newsecuritybeat.org/2018/03/managing-sludge-mountains-beijing-learn-brazil
  • The article is a case study on the innovative use of wastewater management in Brazil.
  • The article exposits how Brazil is using sludge collected from wastewater to turn into energy.
  • The article also sheds light on how this technology can work in China.



1. Canada’s Challenges and Opportunities to Address Contaminants in Wastewater —

  • Link: cwn-rce.ca/wp-content/uploads/projects/other-files/Canadas-Challenges-and-Opportunities-to-Address-Contaminants-in-Wastewater/CWN-Report-on-Contaminants-in-WW-Supporting-Doc-2.pdf
  • The report provides an overview of the current state of the practice of wastewater treatment across Canada; additionally, it provides a summary of the regulatory structure surrounding wastewater treatment in Canada and other comparable jurisdictions.
  • The study also looks at the status of wastewater management in countries of Germany, Switzerland, Australia, and the United States.

2. Review of Sewage and Sewage Sludge Treatment in Korea —

  • Link: www.ipcbee.com/vol101/rp012_ICEEB2017-B3004.pdf
  • The study examines the status of sludge treatment in sewage treatment and sewage treatment plants in Korea and Japan. Also, the study highlights that better treatment technology is being used in sewage sludge treatment technology across Korea and Japan.
  • The study is used as an exemplary suggestion to help China implement technology in an innovative system for wastewater management, similar to Korea and Japan.

3. Progress on Wastewater Treatment —

  • Link: www.unwater.org/app/uploads/2018/08/631-progress-on-wastewater-treatment-2018.pdf
  • This report from the United Nations looks at the progress of wastewater management and treatment in various countries around the world, in conjunction with an assessment of Sustainable Development Goals.
  • The report is intended to provide and act as a benchmark for Sustainable Development Goals 2030, for countries of the world.

4. Implementation of the Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive in France —

  • Link: http://pubdocs.worldbank.org/en/202781506008926897/DocumentsUWWTD-Implementation-France-Bulgaria.pdf
  • The report looks at the implementation of Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive in France.
  • France has taken many technological steps and a fixed system, to comply with Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive in France. The report states that France has successfully implemented the directive to extracting sustainable results.

5. Use of Vegetative Wastewater Treatment Systems for Counties’ Effluent Management in Kenya —



  • From the reports and articles we found, it can be concluded that the status of wastewater management and treatment in many countries is improving due to the implementation of the latest technology and systems.
  • Some countries like Korea, Japan, and Brazil, have already excelled in wastewater management and are benefiting from the systems and processing of byproducts.
  • Some countries like China, India, and Kenya are still a long way from achieving sustainable practices in wastewater management.
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Cities With The Largest Population Growth

The top five US cities that are expected to have the largest population growth within the next five years are Miami, Atlanta, Boston, Minneapolis, and Detroit. On the other hand, the top five cities located in other parts of the world that are projected to have the largest population growth in the succeeding five years are Kuwait City, Kuwait; San Martín Texmelucan de Labastida, Mexico; Jinshi, China; Guadalupe, Mexico; and Kalyoubia, Egypt.


  • Miami, Florida: Miami has a current population of 491,724. By 2025, it is projected that the population will grow to 6,272,000, which translates to a CAGR of 66.39%.
  • Atlanta, Georgia: Atlanta has a current population of 501,178. By 2025, it is projected that the population will grow to 5,151,000, which translates to a CAGR of 59.36%.
  • Boston, Massachusetts: Boston has current population of 694,784. By 2025, it is projected that the population will grow to 5,032,000, which translates to a CAGR of 48.59%.
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota: Minneapolis has a current population of 424,256. By 2025, it is projected that the population will grow to 2,983,000, which translates to a CAGR of 47.71%.
  • Detroit, Michigan: Detroit has a current population of 662,172. By 2025, it is projected that the population will grow to 4,606,000, which translates to a CAGR of 47.39%.


  • Kuwait City, Kuwait: Kuwait City has a current population of 60,064. By 2025, it is projected that the population will grow to 2,956,000, which translates to a CAGR of 117.98%.
  • San Martín Texmelucan de Labastida, Mexico: San Martín Texmelucan de Labastida has a current population of 75,518. By 2025, it is projected that the population will grow to 3,230,121, which translates to a CAGR of 111.95%.
  • Jinshi, China: Jinshi has a current population of 82,906. By 2025, it is projected that the population will grow to 3,457,000, which translates to a CAGR of 110.87%.
  • Guadalupe, Mexico: Guadalupe has a current population of 124,623. By 2025, it is projected that the population will grow to 4,950,866, which translates to a CAGR of 108.84%.
  • Kalyoubia, Egypt: Kalyoubia (Qalyub) has a current population of 100,495. By 2025, it is projected that the population will grow to 2,778,725, which translates to a CAGR of 94.24%.


We commenced our research by going through different population databases including the Census, World Population Review, Data Bank, and Population Reference Bureau. Among these sources, we found that World Population Review provides data on the current population of different cities around the world. Then, we located two sources, Ontario Tech University and Born to Engineer, that show information on the population projections of different cities. These two reports showed similar findings, hence were used in determining the cities that are expected to have the largest population growth within the next five years. Due to the high number of variables and the encoding of each city for calculation, the findings were presented in this spreadsheet.