Clean Watersheds Needs Survey (CWNS)

Overview: Clean Watersheds Needs Survey (CWNS) is the survey conducted by the United  States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) in partnership with states to  identify and document the cost of the capital needs required to meet the  water quality and water-related public health goals of the Clean Water Act.  The CWNS is conducted in response to Sections 205(a) of the Clean Water Act  and 516(b) of the Water Quality Act of 1987, which amended the Clean Water  Act.

Every four years, New Jersey State participates in CWNS and collects the information about:

  • Publicly owned wastewater collection and treatment facilities;

  • Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs) control facilities;

  • Stormwater management activities;

  • Nonpoint source (NPS) pollution control projects; and

  • Decentralized wastewater treatment facilities.

Information collected about these facilities and projects includes:

  • Estimated needs to address water quality or water quality related public health problems;

  • Costs and technical information;

  • Location and contact information;

  • Facility populations served, flow, effluent, and unit process information; and

  • NPS best management practices (BMPs).

The result of this  survey is published in a Report to Congress and can  significantly impact the amount of money that the state receives for CWSRF  purposes. The Report provides Congress, as well as state legislatures, with  information to assist their budgeting efforts. The data are also used to:

  • Help measure environmental progress

  • Contribute to academic research

  • Provide information to the public

  • Help local and state governments implement water quality programs

 What is Need? - In CWNS, a need defined as a project,  with associated costs, that addresses a water quality or public health  problem existing as of January 1, 2012 or expected to occur within the next  20 years (by December 31, 2031). In order to be included in CWNS 2012, the  facility/project must:

1.      Have a capital need in  one of the CWNS needs categories (153 kb, pdf)

2.      Meet the seven CWNS  documentation requirements as explained below.

3.      Not be funded as of  January 1, 2012. A facility/project is no longer considered a need when money  is committed to the project (e.g. signed commitment notice, vote to issue  bond; taxes allocated), even if construction has not yet begun. The portion  of the facility/project not funded as of January 1, 2012 is eligible.

What type of  facility/project is included in the CWNS? -  CWNS data is organized by facility/project where the term  "facility" is used when the needs are for wastewater treatment,  animal feeding operations, mining (point source), stormwater management  activities, decentralized wastewater treatment, etc., and the term "project"  is used to describe NPS pollution control activities. Click here (91  kb, pdf) to view the detailed information on type of facility/project  included in the CWNS 2012.

The CWNS data is  submitted to EPA via CWNS data entry portal (DEP). If you would like to enter  your facility/project data yourself and need an access to the data entry  portal, please contact Ketan Patel, New Jersey CWNS Coordinator at  (609) 292-3114.

Documentation  Requirements: To be eligible  for CWNS 2012, each facility and project must provide the following seven  elements of information:

1.      A description of  the current or potential water quality impairment and information on its  potential source. The problem  description should include specific pollutant source information and/or  specific threats to the waterbody. A general statement about water quality  impairment or threat does not meet this criterion.

2.      The location of  the problem must be  identified as a single latitude/longitude point, a polygon, or a county,  watershed or town. (See Chapter 7 for detailed location requirements.)

3.      The solution to  the problem. One or more specific  pollution control measure(s) or best management practices (BMPs) to address  the identified problem or threat.

4.      The cost for  each solution. The cost to  implement each pollution control measure or specified BMP must be provided.  General estimates for the problem area are not permitted; only site-specific  data is acceptable to generate costs.

5.      The source of  the cost. (e.g., engineer's  estimates, costs from comparable practices, estimates from equipment  suppliers) for each solution must be identified.

6.      The total cost. The total cost of all pollution control measures and BMPs  documented for the facility or project must be provided.

7.      Current  documentation. For needs greater  than $30 million (January 2012 dollar base), the documentation date has to be  January 1, 2006, or more current. For all other needs, the documentation date  has to be January 1, 2002, or more current.

CWNS  2016:   The CWNS 2016 official data collection period will begin January 2016 and  will end on September/October 2016. CWNS is a national effort and the State  data collection procedures follows a set of guidelines and criteria for  gathering, documenting and entering data. For CWNS survey forms and information  please click here.

CWNS  2012:   The CWNS 2012 official data collection period will begin January 2016 and  will end on September/October 2016. CWNS is a national effort and the State  data collection procedures follows a set of guidelines and criteria for  gathering, documenting and entering data. For CWNS survey forms and information  please click here.

CWNS 2008:In CWNS 2008 New Jersey State reported the  total wastewater and stormwater management needs of $32.5 billion as of  January 1, 2008 in the CWNS 2008 Report to Congress. This amount includes  $8.7 billion for wastewater treatment plants, pipe repairs, and buying and  installing new pipes; $8.2 billion for combined sewer overflow correction;  and $15.6 billion for stormwater management. Small communities (population  < 10,0000) have documented needs of $2.6 billion. In addition to the $32.5  billion in wastewater and stormwater needs, New Jersey reported other  documented needs for nonpoint source pollution prevention ($1.8 billion) and  decentralized wastewater (septic) systems ($2.2 billion) are included in  Appendix A of the report.

CWNS  2004:  In CWNS 2004 New Jersey documented needs  totaling $13.1 billion as of January 1, 2004. This amount includes $916.5 millions  for wastewater treatment and collection systems, $396.8 million for combined  sewer overflow corrections, $5.5 billion for stormwater management and urban  runoff control, $4.2 billion for nonpoint source pollution prevention and  $125 million for decentralized wastewater (septic) systems.

Program Contact: Ketan Patel, New Jersey CWNS Coordinator, (609) 292-3114

Moe Abouda