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Rivers Alliance of CT Priority Topics

Priority Topics

 Sewage Treatment Archives

2013
Combined Sewer Overflows


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2013

Combined Sewer Overflows

CT passed a groundbreaking piece of policy during the 2012 legislative session that would henceforth require the state Dept. of Energy and Environmental Protection to report Combined Sewer Overflows in the state.

Phase 1 is up on the web at http://www.ct.gov/deep/cwp/view.asp?a=2719&q=525758&deepNav_GID=1654. (If this link crashes your browser, try switching to "Compatibility View.")

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, between 1.8 and 3.5 million Americans become ill from contact with water contaminated by sewage every year. Raw or partially treated sewage can contain pathogens, viruses, and bacteria and can lead to short-term gastrointestinal problems and infections, and long-term chronic conditions such as liver and kidney failure. Contaminants from sewage also contribute to red- and brown-tide algal blooms, which can result in unhealthy fish populations and can cost local economies millions of dollars annually.

Phase 1 of Sewage Right to Know highlights areas in the state that are anticipated to experience overflow problems during heavy precipitation events.

The next step (to be implemented on or before July 2014) is to detail unanticipated overflow events as they happen, to give the public real-time protection from exposure to raw sewage. Connecticut is the first state to develop a program like this, and so far, it’s shaping up rather nicely! Thanks to all the advocates who helped to make this possible!