It is rare to see bipartisanship in the federal government, but water quality seems to be a uniting goal. The Senate voted 89-2 to pass the Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2021. It will allow for funding for public water systems and the expansion of programs set to treat water contamination. President Biden has pushed for an infrastructure bill for a while now, and this legislation is a step in the right direction. It will allow for communities that suffer from poor water quality to have liveable homes again. One state that experiences more problems than most with water quality is Illinois.
Illinois has more lead pipes in their infrastructure than any other state, putting its citizens at significant risk. Over the last 15 years, Chicago alone has issued approximately 150,000 water shutoff notices. Without water a home is not sustainable, and the volume of issues in Illinois is a problem that must be remedied. According to the Illinois Times, the WATER Act would create about 22,000 jobs within the state. This legislation would not only improve water quality for those in need, but create jobs for those impacted by the pandemic. The Senate passing the Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act was a good start, but we still wait to see if the WATER Act goes through.