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CSI: Collection System Investigations-Causes and Solutions for SSOs

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Abstract:

Sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs) have emerged as the single most important indicator of wastewater collection system performance for both agencies and regulators. Managing, controlling, mitigating and eliminating SSOs (and the related parameter wastewater backups) will drive maintenance, rehabilitation, and investment in the collection system for years to come. There is often incomplete understanding into the nature of SSOs, their causes and cost-effective solutions.

SSOs happen for many reasons. Some agencies categorize causes of overflows into “dryweather” and “wet-weather” categories to identify the appropriate resolution. Dryweather overflows are amenable to maintenance directed solutions while wet-weather SSOs and backups often require capital investment into pipe rehabilitation, replacement, relief, and peak flow storage or treatment. Proper diagnosis of the problem is a key to implementing a solution that addresses the nature and frequency of the problem.

This paper will present results of investigations into why sewers overflow and backup, steps management can implement to mitigate SSOs, and examples of successful solutions to particular overflow problems. Reported causes and rates of overflow available in the public domain will be documented and effective measures utilities have adopted will be reported. This paper will present preliminary results from an ongoing research project, “SSO Solutions”, being performed by Black & Veatch Corporation for the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) under a Cooperative Agreement with the US Environmental Protection Agency.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.2175/193864703784830018

Publication date: 2003-01-01

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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