Suppliers of wastewater treatment systems are experiencing rising demand for their products as some 300 wastewater treatment systems are adding new plants, expanding existing plants, or updating plants to meet new effluent or odor control standards, according to a report by McIlvaine Company (

The largest numbers of expansions are in states with relatively fast population growth, including Arizona, Texas, California, Colorado, and Florida. McIlvaine Company says odor control, beneficial sludge reuse, and improvement in effluent quality are the key drivers of demand for wastewater treatment systems. In arid states, McIlvaine Company says wastewater reclamation and reuse is the basis for new investment.

According to McIlvaine Company, most improvement projects begin as studies by consulting/engineering firms. These firms or others are then employed to write specifications and evaluate bids for end-user utilities. McIlvaine Company says cost has always been a big factor in municipal wastewater treatment projects. Limitations in the public bid process tend to weight decisions based on initial rather than lifetime cost. However, McIlvaine Company says the industry has improved its record in this regard, and lifecycle costs now play a major role in decision-making. McIlvaine says wastewater treatment projects range from $1 million up to $500 million or more.