Lowell's Experience With Real-Time Remote Control to Reduce Combined Sewer Overflows

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The Lowell Regional Wastewater Utility (LRWWU) operates a major combined sewer collection and treatment system (CSS) with annual untreated combined sewer overflow (CSO) discharges of more than 1,890 megaliters per year to the Merrimack River. The CSS has nine combined sewer overflow diversion stations that have large diameter upstream interceptors.

Over the last 5 years, LRWWU has constructed and installed a comprehensive supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system to manage and remotely operate the CSO stations based on real-time conditions. Remote activation of these diversion structures using instrumentation provides significant opportunities to respond more quickly to changing storm conditions to reduce CSOs and to increase the operational flexibility of the CSS. The SCADA control system also provides LRWWU with the opportunity to maximize the use of inline storage by remotely and/or automatically operating the CSO diversion control gates to capture as much wet weather flow as possible
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