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Atlanta, Georgia, is one of the most rapidly growing urban centers in the United States. As the City has expanded and the population has increased, the current storm and sanitary sewer systems have been unable to meet increasing demands. During wet weather, the combined portion of the sewer system (storm and sanitary sewers in the same pipe) can become overwhelmed and combined sewage and stormwater may be discharged directly into streams. In 1998, the City entered into a consent decree with a group of litigants concerning the combined sewer overflows. To comply with the consent decree by 2007, as well as meet State regulatory requirements, the City has begun work on improving its sewer infrastructure and, in cooperation with the U.S. Geological Survey, has implemented a real-time hydrologic and water-quality monitoring network.

The monitoring network consists of 20 long-term sites, 12 of which record continuous data on selected water-quality parameters and stream stage. The continuous data are augmented with an intensive sampling program that includes both automated and manual sampling. During the initial stages of program implementation, 43 additional (synoptic) sites were sampled, once during high flow, and once during low flow. In general, the high-flow synoptic yielded higher trace element and nutrient concentrations than the low-flow synoptic. Based on the synoptic results, one additional site—Woodall Creek at Defoors Ferry Road at Atlanta, GA—will be added to the long-term monitoring network.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2004-01-01

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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 These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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