In 2021, the American Society of Civil Engineers gave America’s water infrastructure a failing grade. Drinking water scored a C-, while stormwater received a D and wastewater received a D+.

Recognizing that something needs to be done, President Joe Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) into law, a bill commonly referred to as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill (BIL), on Nov.15, 2021. The historic legislation provides a once-in-a-generation investment of $1.2 trillion dollars into the nation’s infrastructure; positively impacting urban and rural communities across the country by rebuilding roads and bridges, expanding access to clean drinking water, ensuring Americans have access to high-speed internet and making long-overdue investments in seaports, airports, and rail.

A year later, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced $7.4 billion in funding in 2022 for states, tribes and territories to upgrade America’s aging water infrastructure, sewerage systems, pipes and service lines, and more through their State Revolving Fund (SRF) programs. This is the first of five years of supplemental funding to the SRFs. EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan also issued a letter to governors outlining the key priorities for water investments, including targeting resources to disadvantaged communities, making rapid progress on lead-free water for all, and tackling dangerous chemicals such as PFAS. The law provides nearly $44 billion over five years to EPA’s State Revolving Funds programs.

Additionally, Vice President Kamala Harris announced a Lead Pipe and Paint Action Plan to accelerate Bipartisan Infrastructure Law investments to replace all of the nation’s lead pipes in the next decade and expand access to clean drinking water.

While these are positive steps forward, more needs to be done.

Plumbing & Mechanical Chief Editor Nicole Krawcke sat down with the International Code Council’s PMG Executive Director Matt Sigler to discuss the current state of U.S. water infrastructure, how it compares to other countries, and how the plumbing industry can help solve these issues.