Water & Wastewater Market Monthly Roundup, August 2019

By FirmoGraphs Staff

Dear Readers!

We hope you liked our Power Generation and Supply Monthly Roundup that was published last month. Today, we're here with our Water / Wastewater Market Monthly Roundup featuring top news, data stories and drivers. Enjoy the blog!

U.S. Drinking Water Market Overview

If you’re operating in the drinking water industry, you are most likely familiar with the responsibilities of the U.S. EPA's regulations in the water and wastewater industries. In this month’s roundup, we will present a top down review of the drinking water industry highlighting how this data can be used in market segmentation.  

The main point is know what your best customers look like.  You want to find and serve them more effectively. Business Intelligence can help!   

First, let's take a look at the 3 categories and their respective overall distribution of the water systems. 

  1.   Transient non-community system
  2.   Non-transient non-community system
  3.   Community water system




Understanding the market preferences of our clients, we found that most of them are interested in Community Water Systems (CWS). Filtering on CWS, the following KPIs are available:


The overall market is quite large with more than 49,000 water systems operating in the U.S. The EPA classifies the water systems on the basis of population served, source of water and whether they operate on a regular or occasional basis. In U.S, these water systems serve a population of over 309 Million.

First, let’s take a look at geographic placement of the water systems in the U.S. By taking out the top 10 states in terms of water systems count, we'll filter based on those operated by local governments and private organizations.  We can see that Texas has the most, with nearly 4,600 water systems followed by California that has around 2,900.  


Next, let’s take a step ahead and filter the graph with systems serving between 10,000 and 250,000 in population. The ranking order is changed. Texas and California have switched places as #1 and #2, and other states that might have been ignored initially are added to the list due to their higher count of local government water systems.


Finally, let's say you are only interested in the systems located in Illinois, Ohio, and Michigan because you have a particular interest in Great Lakes area initiatives.  This reduces your addressable market to a far more manageable list of about 500 drinking water systems that still represents a population served in excess of 16M people.  


If you have come this far and are still wondering how this information is beneficial to you, look at these  three business scenarios that our expert services will help you answer.

  1.   Your regional sales representative is flying in to see a customer.  Who can they visit within 100 miles of the account? 
  2. You have a team of 8 salespeople and you want to run 3 campaigns in the U.S. Which states are going to reward you the best outcome for every penny spent on the campaigns?
  3.   You have a budget and you are stuck between investments in two states. Which state is most profitable for your specific business?

These data dimensions are a nice start, but only scratch the surface.  In future Data Stories, we’ll layer in information relating to utility finances, capital plans, and compliance.  We are here to complement your business strategy, adding valuable insights and making your go-to-market more effective.


Industry Drivers - PFAS Developments

Legislative and regulatory developments around perfluorinated and polyfluorinated chemicals (PFAS) are important drivers for companies that are serving the U.S. water industry.  Let us know if you are interested in additional state-level information, including firmographic data on how utilities are likely to be impacted.


PFAS Background

PFAS are resistant to water and heat, and as a result were traditionally used in applications where those properties were beneficial. There are more than 3,000 known PFAS chemicals, and their detection in drinking water supplies and soil is raising concern about potential health effects. 

Most of the focus is on PFOA and PFOS that are considered to be two of the most well-known and prevalent PFAS chemicals.


PFAS and the U.S. Federal Government

At the federal level, an Action Plan was issued by the EPA in February 2019, as well as a 1-page fact sheet summary.  The Action Plan outlines next steps, including setting a drinking water maximum contaminant level (MCL) and monitoring of PFAS under the 4th Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR 4).  Standards will be created addressing groundwater contamination remediation, and detecting and mitigating PFAS contamination in other media.  From a legislative perspective, the U.S. Senate was working on a bill as reported by the American Water Works Association (AWWA).  

We understand that the bill has since been wrapped into the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020, introduced on June 11, 2019. This is interesting in that the requirements would initially apply to “drinking, surface, or ground water from PFAS originating from activities of the Department of Defense”, and would require managing contamination to the level of either a State standard (see below) or an enforceable federal standard.  Release disclosures would be required (Sec. 6711) as well as the establishment of a national primary drinking water regulation (Sec. 6721).

PFAS and State Governments

At a State level, we are tracking legislative and regulatory developments relating to PFAS contamination.  Here are some recent updates:

CA Flag

California.  The State Assembly passed AB 756 effective August 1, 2019. This bill requires all California Water Systems to test for PFOA and PFOS Chemicals.  Water suppliers will be required to notify if PFAS are present in water. 

NY flag

New York.  The State Department of Health has recommended the new standards for drinking water, setting MCLs for a number of chemicals including PFOA and PFOS. 

NH Flag

New Hampshire.  On July 18, the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) filed a final rulemaking proposal to establish MCLs for four PFAS: PFOA, PFOS, PFNA and PFHxS.  If approved, the new rules are scheduled to become effective on October 1, 2019. RI Flag

Rhode Island. In March, the Rhode Island Department of Health declined to regulate toxic PFAS in drinking water. The decision came in response to a petition filed in February this year by Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) and Toxics Action Center (TAC).

Vermont Flag

Vermont. The Department of Health has derived a Drinking Water Health Advisory of 20 parts per trillion (ppt) applicable to 5 PFAS substances combined:  PFHpA, PFHxS, PFNA, PFOS and PFOA. The final adopted rule can be downloaded at Contaminated Sites Rules, Guidance Documents & Procedures


Meeting Planner

Meeting Planner-min

In this over-digitized age, there is no replacement for face-to-face meetings with your prospects and customers!  We track meetings of interest to our customers serving the US power generation and supply industry so you won’t miss upcoming meetings and deadlines.  

Meetings in September, 2019

Call for Papers Deadlines in September, 2019

  • Event: The Illinois Section American Water Works Association Annual Conference and Expo 
    Association: American Water Works Association, Illinois Section
    Dates: from 2020-03-23 till 2020-03-26
    Location: Springfield, Illinois, USA
    Call for Papers Deadline: 2019-09-01
  • Event: TX AWWA Texas Water 
    Association: American Water Works Association, Texas Section
    Dates: from 2020-03-31 till 2020-04-03
    Location: Fort Worth, Texas, USA
    Call for Papers Deadline: 2019-09-10
  • Event: IN AWWA Annual Conference 
    Association: American Water Works Association, Indiana Section
    Dates: from 2020-01-27 till 2020-01-30
    Location: Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
    Call for Papers Deadline: 2019-09-20


Our favored BI solution, Qlik Sense™ Enterprise, makes mashing-up multiple data sets fun and easy. Our customers find new opportunities to grow revenue, and reduce risk, by combining the Water Mart with their own proprietary CRM and market data.


None of the information we provide may be taken as legal advice. Please consult an attorney if you require a legal interpretation of this information. 

Any information contained on this website or within any attachments is offered without representation or warranty as to its accuracy or completeness and FirmoGraphs, LLC cannot be held responsible for loss or damage caused by errors, omission, misprints or your misinterpretation of such information. Seek competent professional advice prior to relying on or utilizing such information in any manner as any such use is at your own risk.


Tags: water, wastewater, drinking water market, PFAS, Drinking Water Standards in the USA

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