This study was designed with two broad groups in mind. The primary audiences are the technical scientists and engineers who try to understand and evaluate cause-effect relationships of pollutants, their sources, and the fate of these pollutants in receiving waters. Understanding these relationships is crucial for developing appropriate (cost-effective and environmentally protective) pollution control measures. This same audience is often tasked with the responsibility of developing and carrying out large-scale monitoring programs whose purpose is to track the performance of various policy decisions related to pollution source control.
The secondary audience is Congress, regulatory/policy professionals, and the informed public, who have often questioned the effectiveness of major pollution control programs directed at the national level. It may benefit future decision-makers to know if major public works programs (i.e., the CWA Construction Grants and CWSRF programs) accomplished what they were designed to do—namely reduce effluent BOD loads from municipal and industrial sources and improve dissolved oxygen in many previously degraded waterways of the nation. These same groups also need to understand that water pollution control efforts are neverending. The 1972 CWA did not "solve" the problem. In fact, waste materials are generated continuously, and effluent removal efficiencies must increase in the future to compensate for economic growth and population growth. Planning for operation and maintenance (O&M) expenditures, as well as for capital expenditures for replacement of obsolete facilities and upgrades to maintain adequate levels/efficiency of wastewater removal, is an ongoing requirement. A projection analysis presented in Chapter 2 demonstrates that many of the gains in national water quality improvements may be lost if future wastewater infrastructure investments and capacity do not keep pace with expected urban population growth.
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