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Using Water Quality as the Basis for Hydraulically Sizing Conveyance Systems under the Proposed SSO Rule Provides Multiple Benefits to Municipalities

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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed a draft Sanitary Sewer Overflow (SSO) Rule that will require municipalities to establish the capacity of the wastewater conveyance system under a strict sanitary sewer overflow prohibition (U.S. EPA, 2001). In this same proposed rule, EPA acknowledges that conveyance systems at some point in time are likely to have a wet weather related discharge that is unavoidable. Even though the design intent for sanitary sewers is to exclude extraneous infiltration/inflow (I/I), the opposite happens for a myriad of reasons and leads to increased system flows. Even municipalities that set up and implement aggressive maintenance and rehabilitation programs still have difficulty controlling and managing conveyance system flows, particularly wet weather flows. The fundamental problem that most municipalities' struggle with is the issue of how much capacity is enough. No one wants to indefinitely keep building bigger pipes and treatment plants. Nevertheless, municipalities must make capacity decisions on a regular basis. Under the eventual SSO Rule or similar state-by-state requirement, these capacity decisions will become more important.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2003

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