USEPA & WEF Launch Program to Reduce Nutrients in Waterways

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and Water Environment Federation (WEF) announced the launch of the NutrientSmart (NSmart) program to help reduce nutrient loadings in waterways and recognize the water utilities that are leaders and innovators.

NSmart will begin as a pilot program and encourage the adoption of enhanced nutrient management practices by water utilities and distribute information on tools and methods for lowering nutrients concentrations in facility effluent.

To participate in the NSmart program, utilities must demonstrate intent or actions toward enhanced nutrient management. The program has a component for utility-community engagement through outreach and for reduction of nitrogen, phosphorus, or both. Additionally, the program recognizes utilities implementing an innovative strategy to achieve those reductions.

The recognition levels of NSmart are:

  • Advocate: Participants working toward active engagement for nutrient reduction within their watershed via outreach. The facility is working toward implementing a nutrient reduction strategy that results in reductions between 30-69.9%.
  • Partner: This level is for water resource recovery facilities with fully implemented nutrient reduction plans that have an active outreach program. The utility can choose to focus on reducing nitrogen, phosphorus, or both. Tiers are divided based on percent nutrient reduction – Silver 70-84.9%, Gold 85-89.9% and Platinum 90%+ reduction.
  • Innovator: This level of recognition is a competition for utilities that are currently in the partner level. The facility can earn additional recognition for innovation related to nutrient reduction. Facilities will be evaluated against one another based on subdivisions of design flow rate. Innovator recognition falls into the categories of Treatment Technology and Leadership in Nutrient Management.

Applications for the program will open in January 2022. For more information about NSmart, visit the WEF website or email