The U.S. EPA has announced that it will engage in the rule-making process regarding the practice of “blending” by wastewater treatment plants, which is utilized to manage the peak flows of water and waste coming into the facilities. The strategy is ordinarily used during or after instances of heavy precipitation.
The EPA claims it will soon be reaching out to states, local communities and stakeholders to discuss potential regulations for the practice, which has long been subject to scrutiny. The benefits of blending are clear. It allows municipalities to effectively prevent raw sewage backups in homes and buildings, and can also prevent overflows.
The topic has been heavily argued by several groups, with proponents claiming that the idea can be compliant with federal regulations under certain restrictions.
“EPA is taking action on a new rule that will give municipalities much-needed clarity on blending at wastewater treatment plant,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt in a news release. “...We look forward to engaging with partners at the state and local levels as we work to design a rule that offers a common-sense approach to protecting public health and safely managing our nation’s wastewater.”
The time table for the agency’s deliberation of potential regulations is not set at this time, but new developments will soon likely follow.