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Understanding Water Quality: A Vital Sewer Overflow Abatement Program Tool

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Metropolitan Nashville's Water Services Department (Metro) is in the processes of implementing a major sewer Overflow Abatement Program (OAP). From the beginning, the OAP team realized the importance of understanding the water quality of Nashville's rivers and streams, and the relationship between potential pollutants and the potential receiving streams. Therefore, a comprehensive water quality program was developed and is maintained as an integral part of the OAP today.

Since 1988 over three million dollars has been spent conducting water quality studies; these efforts continue today. The program has allowed Metro Water Services to cost-effectively channel resources and has guided development of the long-term collection system configuration. An unnecessary expenditure for wet weather detention facilities was avoided; this is one of many program accomplishments. The program continues to provide data to accurately assess stream conditions and identify sources of water quality degradation. Throughout the process, the program has facilitated the development of a good working relationship with Tennessee's regulatory authority, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.

Nashville's water quality program has enjoyed many successes, and will continue to contribute valuable information in the coming years. In short, the program emphasizes comprehensive water quality monitoring as an essential part of any overflow abatement program.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2004-01-01

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