Water infrastructure has a variety of government and private owners in nearly all geographic regions. In the US, city or regional public providers tend to be the most common arrangement. However, individual metropolitan areas may have multiple private and public water supply organizations. Municipal wastewater may be managed by a single entity, but industrial and residential wastewater treatment processes may also exist. For example, septic tanks may be used in outlying areas. Similarly, the US Army Corps of Engineers often has primary responsibility for flood damage mitigation, but numerous other entities may be involved. Navigation aids may be under the control of the US Coast Guard, but other agencies and private entities may also be involved.
Water quality standards play an important role in influencing infrastructure management. Most water standards are set at the national level, although standards exist for the European Union. Different standards may exist for drinking water quality, recreational water quality, and wastewater treatment outflows.