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
NJ Water Workforce Training Program Inventory
The ultimate goal of this inventory is to help prepare residents to deal with issues surrounding combined sewer systems and become eligible for employment in the water workforce sector. This inventory was created to help New Jersey residents find training programs that could help them begin, or otherwise further, a career path in the water industry. Additionally, utilities and other training providers can use this as a tool to publicize their training opportunities. Many of the training providers on the list are organizations and unions in New Jersey that focus on construction, engineering, green infrastructure, and related trades.
Wells of Opportunity: Training Residents and Prioritizing Local Hiring for Water Infrastructure Projects in Newark
In the face of generational demands for water infrastructure investment, along with relatively high levels of unemployment, the City of Newark has instituted training programs to help bolster its water workforce. This report, produced by the Jersey Water Works CSO Committee, features two sections:
1) Newark’s Lead Service Line Apprenticeship Program: This describes the special apprenticeship program that was created to supply qualified residents for Newark’s fast-moving lead service line replacement program.
2) Newark’s Green Infrastructure Training Programs: This describes two programs, Ironbound Community Corporation Green Infrastructure Training Program and Newark Green Works, which were created partly in anticipation of the city’s combined sewer overflow (CSO) Long Term Control Plan (LTCP). The LTCP is expected to feature green infrastructure projects and will begin implementation in 2021.These programs can serve as models for other cities throughout New Jersey, and even the nation, that also seek to benefit from both training and prioritizing their local workforce to tackle water infrastructure challenges.
Bolstering the Water Workforce with Innovative Programs
In the City of Camden, two programs were created to train residents of low-income communities and communities of color in green infrastructure maintenance and/or connect them to employment opportunities, including those in the water industry. One is PowerCorps Camden, administered by Center for Family Services and Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority, among others, and the other is Camden Works, administered by Center for Family Services and Cooper’s Ferry Partnership, among others. This case study details how these workforce training programs are structured, providing an overview that communities can refer to if they wish to create their own program. It also features insight on factors for success and lessons learned as these programs have navigated their first few years of operation.
Assessing Public Input and Consideration of Green Infrastructure in NJ CSO Reports
This paper, Assessing Public Input and Consideration of Green Infrastructure in NJ CSO Reports, assesses how well the Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) Development and Evaluation of Alternatives Reports meet the Jersey Water Works (JWW) goals for “Smart CSO Plans.”
The Development and Evaluation of Alternative Reports (DEARs) were submitted to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) in July 2019, with a deadline for the final LTCPs of October 2020. The committee reviewed 24 reports submitted on behalf of 25 permit holders; some reports were consolidated based on regional reports. Nine regional collaborations of sewage treatment plants and municipal permit holders worked together on the development and evaluation of alternatives. Of the 25 permit holders, the City of Trenton was the single permit holder not included in this review because the City has already submitted its LTCP.
This paper summarizes the committee’s findings, with focus on the types of alternatives evaluated, green infrastructure considerations, and extent of public participation.
Hidden Capacity: How Proper Maintenance and Cleaning of Sewer Systems Can Have Huge Benefits!
Issued by the JWW Combined Sewer Overflow Committee, the purpose of this paper, Hidden Capacity: How Proper Maintenance and Cleaning of Sewer Systems Can Have Huge Benefits, is to highlight the importance of sewer cleaning and inspection as critical elements of a proper and effective sewer system operation and maintenance program. Additional basic, cost-effective “gray” type controls, which have the potential to reduce combined sewer overflows (CSOs), sewer backups, and flooding significantly, are also presented. The cleaning and proper maintenance of sewer collection systems is relevant to both combined sewer systems (i.e., systems that convey sanitary/industrial flows as well as stormwater) and separate sanitary systems (systems that carry only sanitary/industrial flows). This paper also provides regulatory recommendations to help ensure that municipalities/utilities are implementing these basic, cost-effective control measures and are operating and maintaining their collection systems properly.