Services A-Z Departments/Agencies FAQs NJ Home
New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection  
NJDEP HomeNJDEP Home - Division of Water Quality
Municipal Finance and Construction Element
NJDEP Water Quality Municipal Finance
Municipal Finance and
Construction Element
bluearrow Bureau of Environmental, Engineering & Permitting (BEEP)
bluearrow Bureau of Construction, Payments and Administration (BCPA)
bluearrow New Jersey Water Bank - NJWB
  bluearrow NJWB's Intended Use Plan (IUP) &
   Project Priority List Amendments
bluearrow Clean Water SRF Green Project Reserve (GPR) Business Cases
bluearrow Treatment Works Approval (TWA) Permits
bluearrow Clean Watersheds Needs Survey (CWNS)

Municipal Finance Regulations (N.J.A.C. 7:22)


Water Pollution Control Act
(N.J.A.C. 7:14)

leftbar Find Forms | Contact Us rightbar

Clean Watersheds Needs Survey (CWNS)NJ Clean Watersheds Needs Survey

The New Jersey State Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) is currently conducting the 2022 Clean Watersheds Needs Survey (or CWNS) and encouraging you to participate in the survey and ask for your cooperation in collecting needs information of wastewater infrastructure, stormwater - grey and green infrastructure and non-point source pollution control projects including the needs for decentralized wastewater (or septic) systems.

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 (CWA)(33 U.S Code §1375). The 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) amended the CWA to direct EPA to conduct and complete an assessment of capital improvement needs for all projects that are eligible under Section 603(c) for assistance from state water pollution control revolving funds.

The CWNS is a comprehensive assessment of the capital costs (or needs) to meet the water quality goals of the CWA and address water quality and water quality related public health concerns. Every four years, the states and EPA collect information about:

  • Publicly owned wastewater collection and treatment facilities;
  • Stormwater and combined sewer overflows (CSO) control facilities;
  • Nonpoint source (NPS) pollution control projects; and
  • Decentralized (septic system) wastewater management.

Information collected about these facilities and projects includes:

  • Estimated needs to address water quality or water quality related public health problems;
  • Location and contact information for facilities and projects;
  • Facility populations served, flow, effluent, and unit process information; and
  • Nonpoint source (NPS) pollution control best management practices.

What is the significance of the Clean Watersheds Needs Survey (CWNS) data? CWNS is the only needs assessment available nationwide that collects the needs information of wastewater infrastructure, stormwater - grey and green infrastructure, non-point source pollution control projects including the needs for the decentralized wastewater (or septic) system and the result of this survey is published in a Report to Congress and can influence the allocation of funds for future special grants or funding programs. For example, the Sewer Overflow and Stormwater Reuse Municipal grants (OSG) program in FY 2021. The Report provides data that being used by Congress and state legislatures in 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

In New Jersey, we use the needs assessment in our GAP analysis by comparing future needs data with available funding resources, and based on this GAP analysis, New Jersey develops the Clean Water State Revolving Fund funding budgets and packages.

What is Need? - In CWNS2022, a need is an unfunded project and associated capital costs that address water quality or water-quality-related public health problems existing as of January 1, 2022, or are expected to occur within the next 20 years (by December 31, 2041). For needs to be included in the Clean Water Needs Survey report, there must be a capital need of projects that address water-quality-related public health problems, documented solutions or cost estimates, and meet the following CWNS documentation criteria. It does not include the Operation and Maintenance costs.

Documentation Requirements: To be eligible for CWNS 2022, each facility and project must provide the following six elements of information:

  1. A description of the current or potential water quality impairment or human health issue (problem).
  2. The location of the CWNS ID (location).
  3. A description of the project(s) that will solve the problem (project description).
  4. The cost of each project (project cost).
  5. The source of the cost (source). (e.g., engineer's estimates, costs from comparable practices, estimates from equipment suppliers).
  6. Current documentation (current). For all needs, the document must be “current.” The document date must be January 1, 2016, or later (within six years of survey launch).

How to participate in the 2022 survey? To participate in the survey, first identify any water quality or public health-based capital needs (up to 20 years) and costs in your community that were not funded by January 1, 2022. Then, submit these community needs by completing the online survey form and uploading any supporting documentation describing your community's new needs and costs.

CWNS online webpage registration and login instructions:

  1. Go to
  2. For your initial usage, please click on the "Click here to Register" button.
  3. Enter your registration information including your email and click "Log-In".
  4. A confirmation email will be sent to you containing a list of all your surveys.
  5. To create a new survey, click the "Start New Survey" button.
  6. You must submit any open survey before you may create another.

Small Community (Population ≤ 10,000): Small communities that serve a residential population less than or equal to 10,000, may not have planning documents that address their infrastructure needs. Therefore, EPA has developed survey forms (linked below), that small communities can use to include their needs in the survey.

  1. CWNS22_SCF_Wastewater.docx – for collections system, pump station, or treatment plant needs
  2. CWNS22_SCF_Stormwater.docx OR CWNS22 Small Comm. Stormwater Needs (pdf - fill-in form) – for stormwater grey or green infrastructure or planning needs
  3. CWNS22_SCF_NPS.docx – for the nonpoint source (NPS) project needs.
  4. CWNS22_SCF_Septic(DecentralizedWWT).docx – for your septic (or decentralized WW Sys) – if any.

There are several ways to provide costs for projects in small communities:

  • Existing planning documents: If cost estimates (or documents showing cost) already exist for projects at your facility, please upload the documents containing the estimates by logging in to You may also submit the documents via email at, or call 609-292-3114 for further assistance.
  • Estimates certified by a local or state professional engineer: Use this small community form, complete the “PE Certified Cost Estimates section”, and have it signed by a local professional engineer (PE). If you do not have a local PE on the staff, please indicate so to request state PE certification. Finally, sign the “Local Official Certification” section and send (via mail) the completed and signed form. You may also submit the documents via email at, or call at 609-292-3114 for further assistance.
  • EPA’s cost estimation tools: Use this small community form and fill out the “Cost Estimation Tools” section. Finally, sign the “Local Official Certification” section and send (via mail) the completed and signed form. You may also submit the documents via email at, or call 609-292-3114 for further assistance.

CWNS Documentations & Resources:

Past Surveys:

CWNS 2012:
CWNS is a collaborative effort among the States, the District of Columbia, U.S. Territories (collectively referred to as “States”), and EPA. The State data collection procedures follows a set of guidelines and criteria for gathering, documenting and entering data. The CWNS 2012 official data collection period began from November 2009 and ended in December 2011. CWNS 2012 Report include the unfunded capital costs of treatment works projects that Address a water quality or a water quality-related public health problem existing as of January 1, 2012, or expected to occur within the next 20 years for POTWs; and meet the CWNS documentation criteria.

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:
      Kyle Carlson, New Jersey State CWNS Coordinator, (609) 292-3114
      Ketan Patel, NJ CWNS Coordinator, (609) 292-3114



NJ Home

Department:  NJDEP Home | About DEP | Index by Topic | Programs/Units | DEP Online
Statewide: NJ Home | Services A to Z | Departments/Agencies | FAQs

Copyright © State of New Jersey, 1996-2023

Last Updated: May 4, 2023