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Smart CSO Control Plans

Many of New Jersey’s oldest cities still rely on combined sewer systems — systems in which stormwater runoff from city streets feeds into sewer lines and is treated, along with sewage, by treatment plants. Some of these systems are more than 100 years old.

During heavy rainfalls the volume of stormwater in the older, combined systems can overwhelm the capacity of the treatment plant. When that happens, combined sewage can overflow into area waterways, or back up into streets, public spaces such as parks, and sometimes even residential basements. This makes the sewage treatment plant operator vulnerable to lawsuits under the federal Clean Water Act.

Jersey Water Works’ initial efforts involve working with communities and utilities that have combined sewer systems, to help them identify and implement the appropriate combination of strategies to reduce sewer overflows.

An index of resources categorized by their pertinence to the Long-Term Control Plan process and intended for permit holders can be found here: JerseyWaterWorks.org/CSOLTCPresources

Resources

CCMUA: Incorporating Community Interests into Effective Infrastructure Decision-Making

This case study, Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority: A Wet Weather Case Study of Incorporating Community Interests into Infrastructure Decision-Making, describes the ways in which the Camden County Municipal Utility Authority (CCMUA), together with the U.S. EPA Office of Wastewater Management and representatives from the community-based Camden SMART Initiative, used an augmented infrastructure alternatives analysis approach to help CCMUA identify an optimal and cost-effective mix of green and gray infrastructure to support its Combined Sewer Long-Term Control Plan. The approach described in this case example is transferable to other communities facing a myriad of infrastructure challenges.

The method used by CCMUA is designed to engage community stakeholders in the infrastructure alternatives analysis process at a very early stage. The approach described in this case example will help CCMUA communicate with their board members and other decision makers to ensure these individuals have a clear understanding of the choices before them as they make the critical financial and policy decisions necessary to ensure the utility’s infrastructure is sustainable over time.

Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority: A Wet Weather Case Study of Incorporating Community Interests into Infrastructure Decision-Making (U.S. EPA, 2018)

Evaluating Green Infrastructure: A Combined Sewer Overflow Control Alternative for Long Term Control Plans

The intent of this document, Evaluating Green Infrastructure: A Combined Sewer Overflow Control Alternative for Long Term Control Plans, is to provide guidance to Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) permittees within the State of New Jersey to evaluate green infrastructure (GI) as part of their Long Term Control Plans (LTCPs).

LTCP implementation will be a long and expensive process. Many of the alternatives that will ultimately be implemented to address CSOs will be built on publicly owned land, the cost of which will be borne primarily by the rate payer. GI, however, can and should be implemented both on publicly and privately owned land, allowing the cost of GI to be shared by both the rate payers and private developers.

This guidance is not intended to be the sole resource for evaluating this alternative. This guidance provides case studies, links, and resources to assist
a CSO permittee with including GI as part of its CSO Long Term Control Plan.

Impact of Proper Maintenance of Combined Sewer Overflow System on Flooding in the City of Camden

This fact sheet was prepared by the Jersey Water Works Best Practices Committee. It summarizes a case study performed by CDM Smith, an engineering firm, and commissioned by the Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority. The Impact of Proper Maintenance of Combined Sewer Overflow System on Flooding in the City of Camden was predicted by modeling Camden’s combined sewer system (CSS) and measuring the changes in the volume of stormwater conveyed to water pollution control facilities (WPCFs), combined-sewer overflows (CSOs), and flooding in the City​ ​of​ ​Camden​ ​as​ ​a​ ​result​ ​of​ ​cleaning​ ​pipelines​ ​and​ ​removing​ ​build-ups​ ​of​ ​silt​ ​and​ ​debris.

Educational Signs on Combined Sewer Outfalls

The Jersey Water Works Community Engagement Committee has developed graphic images for signage that can be used by combined sewer system cities and towns, organizations, and individuals to educate the general public on combined sewer overflows. These images have been approved by the NJDEP for permit holders to use to help fulfill their NJ CSO permit public participation requirement. A full installation includes three images: a warning, explanation, both full and simplified, and contact information. The images can be used together on one sign or in a variety of combinations.

Wasted: How to Fix America’s Sewers

This report highlights how low-income households are affected by the costs of fixing combined sewer overflows. It also recommends strategies to help cities pay for the federally mandated improvements to these systems.

Links

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