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Revolutionizing CSO Operations: High Density, Real Time Monitoring in South Bend, IN's Combined Sewer System

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The City of South Bend, IN has installed the densest, permanent sewer monitoring system in the country, if not the world. With this system, the City is able to understand conditions throughout its collection system in real time at all times. Rather than relying upon periodic sewer inspections or angry phone calls from residents to find problems, the City is now able to detect potential sewer problems in their infancies and address them through routine preventative maintenance. The sewer crews, therefore, are able to use their skills to solve and prevent problems rather than simply trying to find them. As a result, the number of dry weather overflows has dropped by 65% in one year (preventing 522,500 in fines), and the City was able to achieve 189,000 in additional O&M benefit with the same personnel and equipment.

Furthermore, this monitoring system had provided the City with a more complete characterization of its sewer system, which has highlighted a number of ways in which storage and conveyance can be improved using real time control. The City is currently transitioning its real time monitoring system into a real time monitoring and control system, which is expected to save the City $120 million in new construction costs
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Keywords: Combined sewer overflows; collection system optimization; operation & maintenance; real time control; real time monitoring

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-01-01

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