Every year in this country, about 14 billion gallons of “raw” or untreated sewage – some mixed with stormwater – overflows from the nation’s sewers into local streams and rivers. During heavy rain events, the pipes fill up forcing overflow directly into streams, creeks and rivers.
This is not an accident or oversight, but the result of sewer system designed to meet the needs of an earlier generation, not today’s modern society.
Today, we consider these raw sewage discharges, known as sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs), unacceptable. In fact, the federal government has mandated that sewer systems across the country dramatically reduce sanitary sewer overflows. It’s the law, but also the right thing to do for our customers, communities and the environment.