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Wastewater Technology Innovation for the Year 2000
Author: Denny S. Parker
Date: 6/188
Simon W. Freese Environmental Engineering Lecture, presented at the National Conference on Environmental Engineering, Orlando, Florida, July 7, 1987

This 1987 Simon W. Freese lecture presents a call for a renewed national research program focusing on wastewater technology. Current federal programs are in decline because of shrinking funds. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) today spends only 11% of what it spent 10 years ago on research in this area. Yet the needs have not disappeared. Forecasts for municipal investment alone exceed $91 billion by the year 2005. It has been estimated that an aggressive national research program could reduce these costs by at least $14 billion. The investment in research necessary to achieve these savings is on the order of $1 billion. Our nation simply cannot afford to lose this opportunity. Real case examples are used to document the benefits resulting from investing in research. An activated sludge secondary clarifier improvement resulted in a benefit-to-cost ration for the research investment of at least 27:1. Similarly, a trickling filter improvement had a documented benefit-to-cost ratio of 30:1 for the original research. An eight-point program is presented for reinvigorating our national research program. A research foundation would serve as the focal point for our profession's efforts.

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