CSO management from an operator's perspective: a step-wise action plan

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Combined sewer overflows (CSO) are the “ugly ducklings” of urban wastewater infrastructure, rather unknown, rarely loved. Contrary to wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) where, commonly, process parameters are carefully registered, still relatively little is known about the spill behaviour of CSOs. In spite of the considerable bandwidth of pollution magnitude reported in literature, it can be generally accepted that CSO impact certainly is not negligible. As the sole wastewater utility in Flanders (6,100,000 inhabitants), Aquafin operates, next to 230 WWTP’s and almost 1,000 pumping stations, some 3,100 CSOs. In search for an optimum CSO management strategy, Aquafin prospected several modelling and monitoring possibilities. As a result, a CSO action plan could be drawn up tailored to the estimated relevance of the CSO under consideration. In a further step a cost-benefit analysis of several static and dynamic remediation measures was undertaken. Real Time Control (RTC) strategies turned out to be the most cost efficient solution for CSO impact mitigation.

Keywords: combined sewer overflows, disconnection, modelling, monitoring, real time control, storage tanks, throttle structures

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