Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) recognized Rizwan Hamid as the “Minority Business Enterprise Champion” at their Annual Consultant Forum held at the City Hall on February 21, 2018. This recognition was for outstanding consultant inclusion, teaming, mentoring and providing sub-consultant opportunities. We look forward to continuing putting together winning teams on public works projects.
WHAT YOU DON’T SEE NEEDS TO BE FIXED TOO
The EPA’s National Enforcement Initiative: Keeping Raw Sewage and Contaminated Stormwater Out of Our Nation's Waters aims to address combined sewer overflow (CSO) and sanitary sewer overflow (SSO) violations and monitor the progress of the long-term improvements agreements with wastewater agencies. According to the recent 2017 status of civil judicial consent decrees addressing combined sewer systems, 36 agencies on the list comprise a combined estimate of $31 billion required investment to reduce over 600 million pounds of pollution from 131 billion gallons of untreated sewage discharges to the receiving water bodies. Nationwide, EPA estimates an investment of $150 billion before 2025 with an estimated available funding of only $45 billion. This leaves a $105 billion investment gap.
Public perception of Infrastructure is too often limited to roads, bridges, mass transit, and water supply or safe drinking water. With 800,000 miles of public sewers across the country, investment in wastewater infrastructure that is invisible to the public, is equally important.
As wastewater industry professionals and stewards of the environment, it is imperative that we take every opportunity to engage in forums to educate the public about the importance of fixing the deteriorating infrastructure below our feet. The cost of rate increase should be a preference over the cost of a catastrophe to keep our wastewater infrastructure current and our waters clean.
Rizwan Hamid, PE is the principal engineer and president of Aqualyze