It’s hard to believe the Waste Discharge Requirement (WDR) is 10 years old already but it has done a lot to congeal a statewide approach to sanitary sewer overflow (SSO) response and reporting by all of the state wastewater agencies. SSOs have been dramatically reduced all over the State and every agency that I know of has been extremely focused on improving maintenance, investing in Capital projects, and improving training on response and reporting of SSOs.
Though there have always been many agencies in the State that took SSOs seriously and worked hard to keep the flow in the pipes, in the early years of the WDR it was Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), that provided a monetary incentive for many agencies to comply with the WDR and work to reduce SSOs. Now it’s the State Water Resource Control Board and their Regional Boards that are credited with working with agencies to reduce SSOs to the greatest extent possible. I believe CWEA is integrally responsible for that transition with its partnership with the State Water Board in providing education on the WDR, the Monitoring & Reporting Program (MRP) and Best Management Practices all aimed at educating agencies on the regulations and how to further reduce SSOs.
Though there is always more work to do until we can completely eliminate SSOs, I’m proud to have been part of that partnership between State Water Board and CWEA in educating and training industry professionals in the proper response to, reporting of, and reduction of SSOs.