With the domestic water storage market expected to reach $3.7 billion by 2028, the water and wastewater steel storage tank and transmission industry serves as a vital component of the domestic potable water supply chain. These water storage tanks, which are typically made from steel, concrete or plastic, utilize a cylindrical design with a flat base that opens at the top to be filled with water either manually or through an electric pump system. Through innovative designs such as flared steel column, multi-column, and flat-bottom reservoir tanks, our industry can provide low-cost, reliable, versatile, and available storage solutions that can effectively meet production and distribution needs. Our industry’s wastewater storage tanks and pipes protect the nation’s water supply from contamination through reliable treatment, collection, and disposal processes utilized by wastewater treatment plants across the country.
Amidst concerns about America’s ability to protect and secure its water supply, water storage tanks play a pivotal role in ensuring that these vital resources can be safely stored and transported to local communities, producers, and manufacturers without impact on its purity. Congress must support the water and wastewater steel storage tank and transmission industry to protect and secure the domestic water supply. If the industry were to fail, the results would be catastrophic as producers in the agricultural, mining, manufacturing, and oil and gas would be unable to maintain their basic operations. Energy and food systems would suffer from further supply chain constraints while wastewater treatment facilities would be unable to effectively service their local counties. Now more than ever, Congress must act to secure America’s water supply as it continues to face threats from both domestic and foreign actors.
Securing America’s Water Supply
STI/SPFA stands in strong support of the $55 billion allocated to water infrastructure and $16 billion allocated to ports and waterway infrastructure through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), also known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), which was enacted in November 2021.
STI/SPFA stands in strong support of maximizing these critical investments while taking the necessary steps to bolster America’s water security. Over the past several years, cybersecurity threats to our nation’s water infrastructure have dramatically increased, with six major incidents reported between 2019 and 2021. These include insider threats, ransomware attacks, and related instructions that threaten to interrupt the flow and transmission of basic water supplies for local communities. These threats extend to the potential for physical attacks on crucial water infrastructure; according to the EPA, drinking water distribution systems, household plumbing, and related appliances have become increasingly vulnerable to:
- Terrorist attacks
- Industrial accidents
- Extreme weather events
- Aging water infrastructure
Amongst these risks, the need to address America’s aging water infrastructure is not only essential but will also mitigate related threats, such as inclement weather. To ensure that our nation’s water supply systems are both modernized and adequately protected, water and wastewater steel storage tanks must be utilized to redesign and retrofit water treatment facility equipment. These tanks not only provide adequate storage of water for distribution but also ensure that sufficient pressure is provided to the city, county, or municipality’s water system. Tanks with single pedestal, leg, supported, fluted pillar, and hydropillar designs are uniquely constructed to meet the varying seasonal demands within a given locality.
Without adequate financial support to the water and wastewater storage tank industry, these incidents will continue to grow as the stability of the nation’s water supply is increasingly threatened. Unless Congress continues to promote the industry’s growth, these safety hazards will not only pose a risk to the distribution of water within a community but also impact the cleanliness of the water itself.
Promoting Clean and Safe Drinking Water
Wastewater steel storage tanks play a vital role in collecting, purifying, and redistributing wastewater to local communities. These tanks play a crucial role in environmental protection, as they allow wastewater to be returned to its natural environment without adverse ecological consequences. Wastewater tanks are not only used to store sewage but have also found success in storing and treating industrial wastewater and biogas.
Amidst increased reports of contaminated drinking water across the country, wastewater storage tanks can ensure that Americans are provided with reliable and safe access to their daily water supply. Studies have found a direct linkage between the usage of wastewater storage tanks & vessels and the quality of household drinking water. By treating water through physical, chemical, or biological methods, wastewater storage tanks can maintain and increase the level of purity in a community’s drinking water.
Given that the ability to “supply water” and “manage wastewater” is considered a National Critical Function, wastewater storage tank manufacturers must be provided with adequate support and access to key resources to strengthen our nation’s critical infrastructure. By doing so, our industry can effectively address the 3 billion to 10 billion gallons of untreated waste that is released from sewage plants annually. The deployment of state-of-the-art wastewater storage systems will also be crucial to address the nationwide need for preventative maintenance of the 19,000 wastewater collection systems across the country, which are valued at over $1 trillion. Through these investments, wastewater storage tank systems can address national security concerns, improve drinking water quality, and mitigate the environmental impacts caused by improper wastewater disposal.
Where We Stand
Proudly serving over 185 companies, STI/SPFA is committed to promoting the interests of manufacturers of water and wastewater steel storage tanks and pipe. STI/SPFA champions increased federal investment in steel tank and pipe infrastructure to secure our nation’s water supply, prevent contamination, and increase the safe and efficient distribution of water and wastewater systems nationwide. STI/SPFA supports legislative actions that:
- Promote increased workforce development initiatives and support training for highly skilled workers operating across the water and wastewater steel storage tank supply chain
- Increase funding towards local communities to promote the distribution of clean, safe potable water
- Enhance federal efforts to collect and treat wastewater through funding programs and related incentives geared towards manufacturers of applicable storage tanks