Small Water Systems: Role of Technology

by Robert M. Clark, (M.ASCE), Engrg. Systems Analyst; Drinking Water Research Div., Municipal Environmental Research Lab., U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Cincinnati, Ohio,

Serial Information: Journal of the Environmental Engineering Division, 1980, Vol. 106, Issue 1, Pg. 19-35

Document Type: Journal Paper


Over 90% of the nation's water supplies serve fewer than 10,000 people, less than 25% of the total population. Many of these small systems have problems. One of the major problems is their lack of operating revenues. They cannot benefit from economies of scale as do large urban systems because they are small in terms of the number of connections served. Recent epidemiological evidence has shown that the majority of the recent waterborne disease outbreaks occurred in small systems. There are, however, technological and management systems being developed that may aid small utilities in solving their problems at reasonable cost. These technological systems include package treatment plants and reverse osmosis plants. Management systems include cost accounting systems.

Subject Headings: Systems management | Revenues | Urban areas | Diseases | Osmosis | Water supply systems

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