Keep Our Country Strong

Support for healthy infrastructure funding will build economic and community health.

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NASSCO’s mission to ensure the continued acceptance and growth of trenchless technologies can only be met when there are appropriate municipal funding mechanisms. If we continue to neglect our buried infrastructure through a lack of funding, it will be more expensive to sustain.

For the same reasons that we perform scheduled maintenance on our cars, we need to maintain our buried infrastructure now or prepare to spend more in the future. Our money is best spent when water and sewer providers can assess, maintain and rehabilitate underground infrastructure when it is most cost-effective to do so, which means sooner rather than later.

NASSCO aggressively partakes in many initiatives to support sewer and water providers in getting the funding they need. One of those ways is our involvement in the Clean Water Council (CWC). The CWC is comprosed of national and state organizations representing underground construction contractors, design professionals, manufacturers, suppliers, labor unions and industry leaders committed to ensuring a high quality of life through sound environmental infrastructure.  

CWC members work together to support legislation such as the Sustainable Water Infrastructure Investment Act of 2014, which would lift the volume cap on Private Activity Bonds (PAB) for water and wastewater projects. The existing volume cap restricts the use of PABs for water and wastewater infrastructure. These bonds use private capital instead of public debt and provide lower cost financing, which can translate to lower costs for the customer. This legislation can harness $50 billion in private capital investment for water infrastructure projects, creating and supporting 1,425,000 jobs.

NASSCO also supports other municipal funding mechanisms, including the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Authority (WIFIA), a five-year, $250 million program that accesses funds from the U.S. Treasury at long-term Treasury rates. These funds are used to provide low-interest loans, loan guarantees and other support for infrastructure projects, while loan repayment goes back into the Treasury.

WIFIA focuses on very large projects (over $20 million) so it supplements, but does not replace, State Revolving Funds (SRF). During a recent Congressional Fly-In, we asked our representatives to support no decrease in SRF loans, to keep tax-free municipal bonds tax free, and to provide other funding mechanisms for water and sewer providers, enabling them to maintain their systems and continue to provide these essential services.

As a nation and as a united industry, we need to remind our representatives in Washington to invest our tax dollars wisely. They need to know that these necessary funding mechanisms can help boost the economy by creating jobs and stimulating direct and indirect demand for goods and services. Most important, they need to be reminded that their support for buried infrastructure will ultimately save money over the long-term and help make this country stronger.

Ted DeBoda is executive director of NASSCO. He can be reached at


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