Wastewater industry professionals have carried on much the same during the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring that essential services are getting the attention they need to provide for communities. But while the specific needs of sewer systems haven’t shifted much, the industry’s financial situation has, forcing departments across the United States to reevaluate and rebudget.
Adjustments in state, county and municipal budgets stem from lost tax revenue and an increase in crisis-related costs, including overtime wages and personal protective equipment (PPE). And the extent of COVID-19’s financial impact is still unknown.
Financial Impact Tool
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently developed a tool to aid both water and wastewater departments in effectively assessing the financial impact so they can begin managing their finances accordingly.
The Water Utility COVID-19 Financial Impact Tool, created by the EPA’s Water Infrastructure and Resiliency Finance Center, can help determine how a department’s revenues, expenses and cash flow have been affected by the pandemic. First answering a series of questions related to the three categories, utilities can begin looking at their own financial situation objectively. A comprehensive spreadsheet automatically calculates changes in a utility’s revenues and expenses by comparing 2020 monthly financials to average monthly financials of 2019, helping utilities keep a running total of their cash flow.
“This tool will help water utilities understand their own financial health as they plan for ongoing operation and maintenance and capital infrastructure needs, including implementing plans to repair, replace and modernize aging infrastructure,” according to the EPA. Start using the tool now:
WinCan’s free Sewer Rehab Planning white paper can be used as a complimentary resource for building a strategic long-term plan to address maintenance and rehabilitation needs, according to a utility's adjusted budget. It helps guide departments through each step of the process, and provides an introduction to WinCan’s Rehab Planning Module, which automatically generates rehab strategies and plans on an item-by-item level based on parameters designated. Download your free copy now: