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I/I Reduction in the City of Salem, Oregon A Historical Perspective

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The City of Salem has had an active Rehabilitation/ Replacement (R/R) program for the existing sanitary sewer collection system for several decades. The City has gone through several changes in philosophy over the years in terms of how successful the removal of infiltration/ inflow (I/I) will be and the contribution or component of I/I that originates from private property. In the process much has been learned about the collection system while developing a program for meeting changing regulatory requirements.

The City of Salem has a history of sanitary sewer overflows (SSO) from the separate sanitary sewer collection system, which are driven by the wet winter weather. The City has a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ). The City's permit and Mutual Agreement and Order (MAO) require the City to significantly reduce the number of SSOs by 2010.

The City of Salem spends approximately 4.0 million each year on the sewer R/R program. About a third of these funds go to an innovative deferred payment loan program that assists property owners in removing sources of I/I on their property.

Although the City is not relying on I/I removal in the short term for meeting regulatory requirements, it is generally believed that long term efforts can provide future benefits. In an attempt to quantify what these future benefits will be, the City has been developing a computer model with the assistance of Brown and Caldwell, an engineering consulting firm. The model is being used to estimate the amount of I/I being removed as a result of improvement projects and will help evaluate the overall performance of the collection system over time.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2004

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