The water and wastewater industry is heavily regulated to protect our environment and prevent harmful pollutants from infiltrating drinking water sources or groundwater used for crop irrigation. Municipalities are responsible for making sure these regulations are taken seriously and put into place with the utmost care. However, this is not always easy. Here are three tips to help municipalities achieve regulation implementation with ease.

  1. Know your system from the inside out.
    Whether your system delivers clean drinking water, carries away wastewater or manages storm drainage, having a full understanding of your system is a must. When a problem arises, the enforcement agency will need to know exactly where the issues are. Knowing your system will allow you to explain the problem or address tasks the agency asks of you in either in a problem situation or during daily operations. When new regulations arise, be responsive and cooperative. Having a full understanding of your system will make this process much smoother.
  2. Know your regulators.
    It’s important to maintain a good relationship with federal and state regulators. Contrary to popular belief, your relationship with regulatory agencies doesn’t have to be adverse. Regulators offer advice and answer questions. Opt to work with them instead of against them, and meet with them often so you know them well and can form a trusting relationship.
  3. Stay ahead.
    When it comes to new regulations, staying one step ahead of the game is key. Attend industry conferences and listen to the presentations. Another way to stay tuned in is to get involved with industry organizations. These organizations are formed to function for you and represent your interests. If new regulations are difficult or costly to implement, industry organizations often function as the voice of the industry and address potential concerns.

The list of reasons to water and wastewater regulations are important is seemingly endless — safety, health and environmental protection are in the hands of regulators each day. New regulations are not always easy to implement, but these three proactive steps can be taken to help the process proceed smoothly.