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Combined Sewer Overflows (CSO) contain not only storm water but also untreated human and industrial waste, toxic materials, and debris. This is a major water pollution concern. CSOs are among the sources responsible for beach closings, shell-fishing restrictions, aesthetic impairments and other water body impairments. Additionally, contact with discharges from CSOs can have adverse effects on human health.
The City of Bowling Green has spent millions of dollars to reduce clean water Inflow and Infiltration into the combined and sanitary sewer system, as well as increasing the treatment capacity at the WPC. As a result, the duration of CSOs and the concentration of pollutants has been reduced.
The City is in compliance with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reduce our CSO events to 4 or less per year. A Long Term Control Plan (LTCP) was created that addressed the necessary steps to reduce the number of CSO events to the Ohio EPA NPDES permit limits. The current LTCP is on hold for further review until modifications are made to the WPC, and the E Poe Road and Mercer Road Pump Station.
In addition, the City has developed a Comprehensive Waste Water Strategy (PDF) to help reduce CSOs.
The following list are just a few examples to achieve these goals:
There are multiple ways in which citizens can help reduce the impacts of CSOs. Please contact the Utilities Department or the Water and Sewer Division for more information. View the Clean Water Removal page for more information.
The City also distributed a Wet Basement brochure in the utility bills in September 2009. This brochure explained how removing clean water from the sewer can help reduce wet basements and Combined Sewer Overflows.