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01 • 21 • 2021

Stop Sewage Spills at the Beach

Secure increased funding for America’s wastewater infrastructure

To the surprise of many, our nation’s beaches and ocean are plagued by frequent spills of raw and undertreated sewage. Much of our wastewater infrastructure, including septic systems, sewer lines, cesspools and combined sewer overflows, are outdated and failing, releasing harmful pollution into our waterways that threaten public health, coastal ecosystems and tourism-based ocean economies. 

Over 850 billion gallons of raw sewage are released into US waterways each year from sewer overflows alone. Additionally, polluted stormwater runoff continues to be the main cause of beach closures nationwide, with 10 trillion gallons of untreated stormwater runoff threatening our coastlines and local waterways.

Our nation relies on properly functioning wastewater infrastructure, yet failure to acknowledge and adequately fund these resources has led to a backlog of roughly $271 billion worth of necessary infrastructure upgrades. This doesn’t even consider the threats coastal infrastructure faces from rising sea levels and exacerbated storm events associated with climate change.

Programs like the EPA’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund (SRF) were developed to assist states and local communities with meeting wastewater infrastructure needs, including funding green stormwater projects and necessary infrastructure upgrades. However the Clean Water SRF hasn’t been properly funded for decades, despite the well-established economic returns and stimulus that occur from investing in America’s water infrastructure (every $1 in water infrastructure investment results in $2.40 of economic returns). 

Surfrider is honored to join clean water advocates from around the country, including the Clean Water For All Coalition and wastewater utilities, to call on the 117th congress to allocate $100 billion ($10 billion annual over 10 years) for the Clean Water SRF through a reconciliation bill, such as the infrastructure/economic relief package. It's time to catch up with the sewage infrastructure needs of our growing communities across the country and better protect clean water for all people. 

Take Action Now!

Raise Your Voice

Join Surfrider in calling on congress to allocate $100 billion ($10 billion annually over 10 years) for the Clean Water SRF.

Clean Water