We turn on the faucet and expect it to be there. We flush and expect it to go away. But what does the average resident know about what it takes to provide clean, safe, abundant drinking water and to remove and treat wastewater to keep our environment safe? Turns out, not a lot.
In a 2012 nationwide survey, 90% of Americans ranked drinking water as vital to daily life as electricity and heat. When questioned further, however, most people did not understand what it costs to treat and deliver water to their homes, how water and wastewater infrastructure issues could affect them personally or realize how dependent they are on this precious resource every day. So how do water and wastewater utilities balance the important public health and safety role they play with a desire to provide affordable services to residents and still maintain financial viability of their programs?
In Hampton Roads, we are attempting to provide more information to residents and decision makers to help them make the tough choices about rate structures. Our local utilities and wastewater staffs meet monthly to discuss issues of regional importance on everything from regulations to education. If you would like to learn more, check out our regional website, askHRgreen.org for all the latest news! And if there’s something you’d like to ask, well. . . .we don’t call ourselves askHRgreen for nothing!