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Quantifying Sub-Surface Discharges from Individual Sewer Defects

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The California Regional Water Quality Control Board, Santa Ana Region (RWQCB) required wastewater collection agencies in Orange County to report discharges from “pipe breaks, leaking sewer pipes and joints, and other subsurface discharges of wastewater.” The Orange County Sanitation District (OCSD), in conjunction with a research team from University of California, Irvine (UCI), developed a device to quantify the subsurface discharge of individual sewer defects. The instrument developed to measure discharge rates of individual sewer defects has been named the “Exfiltrometer.” Soil adjacent to each sewer defect tested for exfiltration was tested for the presence of wastewater. Indicators of wastewater used in this study include: E. coli and total coliform bacteria, caffeine, and major anions. A variety of sewer defect types were tested. Some of the same defect types exhibited similar exfiltration rates. Others did not. Ultimately, a greater number of exfiltration tests need to be performed to draw more statistically significant conclusions about a wastewater collection system's sub-surface discharge of wastewater.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2006-01-01

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