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Policy and Position Statements

The Water Environment Federation has developed a series of clean water policy and position statements to guide the critical work WEF provides in clean water policy.  Additionally, these statements are regularly reviewed and updated through the leadership of the Government Affairs Committee, and new statements are developed as new topics arise in the clean water sector.  WEF members contribute to the development and updating of these documents through collaborative efforts between various technical committees and the Government Affairs Committee.  The statements provide the public and clean water professionals with an understanding of how WEF approaches the work of ensuring the availability of clean water.
 

Policy Statement

WEF Water Quality Policy Statement (Updated October 22, 1997)

Protecting the world's surface water and ground water is essential for public health, wide diversity of biological communities, and quality of life. Water use must meet our present needs while ensuring the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. The Water Environment Federation is committed to providing leadership and guidance in efforts to enhance and preserve the world water environment. Read more >> 
 

Position Statements

Biosolids (Updated December 2, 2011)

WEF recognizes that biosolids, a natural byproduct of wastewater treatment, are a renewable resource that is too valuable to waste given our growing needs for renewable energy and sustainability. Thus, WEF endorses and encourages the innovative beneficial recycling and use of biosolids.  This updated statement expands WEF’s prior position that had focused primarily on land application of biosolids in support of EPA regulations.  Read more >>  

Renewable Energy Generation From Wastewater (Updated October 14, 2011)

WEF believes that wastewater treatment plants are not waste disposal facilities, but rather water resource recovery facilities that produce clean water, recover nutrients (such as phosphorus and nitrogen), and have the potential to reduce the nation's dependence upon fossil fuel through the production and use of renewable energy.  Read more >> 

Stormwater (Updated May 7, 2011)

WEF believes that EPA should update CWA-related regulations that oversee stormwater-generated flows by adopting a number of the recommendations provided by the 2009 NRC report.  Read more >> 

Wastewater Systems Operations Professionals Certification and Training (Updated May 7, 2011)

WEF believes that wastewater systems operations professionals must adhere to the highest standards, especially with the new regulatory requirements and technologies now facing the industry.  These professionals should be subject to mandatory State certification with a required minimum of applicable continuing education hours to maintain their certification license.   The position statement also addresses funding, reciprocity and professional recognition. Read more>> 

Disinfection (Updated June 16, 2010)

The Water Environment Federation (WEF) supports the continued responsible use of chlorine-based disinfectants such as chlorine gas, calcium hypochlorite, and sodium hypochlorite, in addition to alternative disinfection methods, including ultraviolet (UV) radiation and ozonation. Read more >> 

Management of Wet Weather Flows by Municipal Utilities (Updated April 30, 2010)

The Water Environment Federation (WEF) supports environmentally sound and cost effective management of wet weather flows. The debate over the appropriate management and control of wet weather discharges has been going on for more than two decades. While there have been some successes during this time, most notably the negotiation of the Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) Control Policy adopted in 1994, the complexity of issues, both in terms of technology to address the diversity of flow and water quality scenarios and the use of the existing regulatory structure to address permitting all of the different types of discharges, have made further progress difficult. Read more >> 

Clean Water Act Modernization (Updated February 5, 2010)

Through the work of WEF members and others, the Clean Water Act has been highly successful in helping achieve national clean water goals. Federal, state, and local governments, as well as the private sector, have contributed enormous financial and technical resources toward solving water quality problems. Read more >> 

Financial Sustainability for Water Infrastructure (Updated February 5, 2010)

We have made good progress toward achieving national water quality and drinking water goals since the passage of the Clean Water Act in 1972 and the Safe Drinking Water Act. High levels of drinking water and wastewater treatment are the norm throughout the United States and we enjoy one of the highest levels of water quality in the world. Read more >> 

Protecting Water Resources and Infrastructure from the Impacts of Climate Change (Updated February 5, 2010)

No other resource is likely to be more affected by climate change than water, as precipitation patterns change, sea levels rise, and water quality degrades. If global warming trends are not mitigated, significant disruption to the natural hydrological cycle will increasingly threaten the sustainability of our water supply. Read more >>  

Microconstituents in the Environment (Updated November 30, 2007)

Modern science has produced innumerable products and medicines that have improved the quality and longevity of our lives and afforded many conveniences.  Their production, use, and disposal have resulted in the presence of low levels of microconstituents in the environment. Read more >> 

2007 Farm Bill Reautorization (Updated December 12, 2006)

The 2007 Farm Bill affords an opportunity to continue making progress in implementing agricultural conservation best management practices that improve water quality, and provides an opportunity to foster greater collaboration between the municipal and agricultural communities. Read more >> 

Federal Groundwater Legislation (Updated December 1, 2000)

The Water Environment Federation believes that the responsibility for groundwater protection and research rests with national-level or federal governments. Groundwater is a highly valuable, finite resource that should be cared for by the highest level of government. Read more >> 

Water Reuse (Updated October 2, 1998)

WEF recognizes that the world's water supply is a finite resource and the practice of water reuse is key to the conservation of this natural resource. Thus, WEF supports the use of reclaimed water for non-potable purposes as a means of conserving potable water supplies. Also, WEF supports the consideration and use of highly treated reclaimed water for indirect potable reuse and encourages public involvement in all aspects of water reuse projects. Read more >> 

Sanitary Sewer Overflows (Updated January 25, 1996)

Sanitary Sewer Overflows (SSOs) occur when the capacity of a separate sanitary sewer is exceeded, normally during storm events. There are several factors that may contribute to SSOs from a sewerage system, including pipe capacity, operations and maintenance effectiveness, sewer design, age of system, pipe materials, geology and building codes. Read more >>  

Combined Sewer Overflows (Updated January 21, 1993)

Sewer overflows occur when combined storm and sanitary sewerage systems, which are prevalent in older cities, receive excessive stormwater flows from streets, roof drains, and other stormwater catchment systems. When the design capacity of these systems is exceeded, overflow structures direct untreated flow into receiving waters, thereby bypassing treatment facilities designed to protect water quality. Read more >>