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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:


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.

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Water Infrastructure that Works for Cities: Best Practices and Considerations for Preparing Long Term Control Plans to Control Combined Sewer Overflows

This white paper draws upon best practices from across the country to provide New Jersey’s CSO communities with smart solutions that employ innovation, reduce costs, and deliver tangible benefits that build community support. Prepared for New Jersey Future. 2015.




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