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Best Management Practices to Reduce Pollution from Sewers in a Large Municipality

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Water quality in New York-New Jersey (NY-NJ) Harbor has shown dramatic improvement over the last dozen years due to the implementation of best management practices (BMPs) to control wet and dry weather discharges from New York City's (NYC) sewer systems. NYC is served by both combined and separately sewered systems—approximately 70% of land area is combined, while most of the remaining area is separately sewered.

During the 1990s, NYC was required to implement controls for discharges from Combined Sewer Overflows (CSO) and municipal Separate Sanitary Sewer Systems (MS4) areas. Initially, the State set several O&M requirements in the City's 1989 State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) permits. Those requirements evolved as NYC gained experience and as EPA established CSO policy and implemented the Phase I Storm Water Program. These BMPs have much in common with Capacity Management Operations and Maintenance (CMOM) requirements in the proposed Sanitary Sewer Overflow (SSO) rule. In effect, NYC is an existing case study for many SSO components.

This paper will briefly discuss BMPs that helped NYC achieve the greatest water quality benefits to NY Harbor and are analogous to CMOM requirements including:

Water Quality Monitoring

Shoreline Monitoring

Wet Weather System Evaluations and Capacity Modeling

Inflow Reduction Programs

Operations and Maintenance Standards for Pumping Stations and Sewer Regulators

SCADA for Pumping Stations and CSO Regulators

Pollution Prevention for Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG), Metals, PCBs and Other Organic Contaminants

Annual Audits and Other Reports

Performance Measurements

Public Notification

Citizen Advisory Committees

Reporting mechanisms will also be discussed, including measurement criteria that were used to evaluate the success of individual and group activities for BMPs.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2003

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