Cost Accounting and Budgeting for Improved Wastewater Treatment


Prepared while at Industrial Economics, for the Office of Water, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, February 1998, EPA 833-R-98-001.

Efforts to conserve water often focus on installing more efficient appliances or on removing subsidies to irrigation water. Often overlooked is the role that proper pricing of wastewater treatment plays in water conservation, reduction of water pollution, and in the optimization of some of the largest and most expensive municipal enterprises in the nation: our sewers and wastewater treatment plants. This analysis breaks down the various functions of a sewer authority and examines the many ways that inaccurate pricing of capacity and services contributes to higher costs and reduced environmental performance. The report provides case studies of some existing treatment plants and explains a number of analytic tools that municipal plant managers can use to more accurately identify high value program areas.