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The Rouge River National Wet Weather Demonstration Program (Rouge Project) is evaluating the performance of ten demonstration combined sewer overflow (CSO) control basins in the Rouge River watershed, which is located in the greater Detroit area. Most of the basins are sized significantly smaller than the State's presumptive criteria. For the demonstration basins to be accepted by the State, they must meet specific effluent criteria, and water quality standards must be met downstream of the basins at times of discharge. This paper focuses on how the CSO facility effluent impacts in-stream dissolved oxygen (DO), which is the primary criterion driving the sizing of the CSO basins.

The basin evaluation is completed or underway for nine of ten CSO basins which have been operating for periods ranging from two to four years. The river DO impacts from the CSO basins were evaluated using a combination of basin effluent monitoring, river monitoring and dynamic water quality modeling. The evaluation was complicated by rapidly changing ambient river conditions when the facilities typically discharge.

Using a consensus-based approach, work groups including State personnel, CSO community representatives and consultants have reviewed the CSO basin evaluation results to date and concluded that the demonstration basins can eliminate raw sewage, protect public health and achieve water quality standards, including the dissolved oxygen standard. This demonstration approach to CSO control has been an unqualified success and resulted in a significant savings in costs compared to the presumptive approach.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2001-01-01

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