Article | May 7, 2012

Economy, Efficiency Drive Trend Toward Decentralized Water Treatment

Jim Lauria

By Jim Lauria

2012 Clean Water Cover

The next big thing may be smaller than ever. As urban areas continue to grow, many will outreach and outpace the capacity of their centralized municipal water treatment and wastewater treatment facilities, and, thus stretching the limits of cities’ crumbling infrastructure. Decentralized water treatment is on the horizon, and companies across the industry can help make it feasible.

Nearly 80% of Americans live in urban areas, according to the 2000 U.S. Census, and those cities are likely to keep growing — and not just in population. Los Angeles is a great example; the region’s population grew 45% between 1975 and 1990 and tripled in area. Sprawled over five counties and nearly 90 municipalities, the greater Los Angeles area is now home to more than 17.6 million people.