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Members of the community play an important role in addressing CSOs and improving water quality. By understanding the opportunities and challenges to reducing CSOs, residents can help to identify, support and implement solutions in their communities. Permittees are required to have the public participate in selecting alternatives to pursue as part of the Long Term Control Plan. (View this presentation for information on how to engage the community in Long Term Control Planning). Permittees are required to invite members of the affected public to participate in a Supplemental CSO Team. (View this resource on Forming and Utilizing Your Supplemental CSO Team).  This is an opportunity to identify and align with other community improvement goals, such as increasing green space, flood prevention, traffic mitigation, and

CSO Rain Garden
Community Collaboration in Camden led to the installation of a rain garden park on the site of an abandoned gas station
property value enhancement. For example, if a community goal is to increase green space, permittees can work with the community to identify land that if turned into space could also reduce the flow of stormwater into the combined sewer system. If localized flooding is a concern to residents, rain gardens can be constructed in areas that would reduce local flooding and reduce the flow of stormwater into the combined sewer systems. When street or underground utility work is occurring in the community, it presents an opportunity to incorporate green infrastructure into the street improvement or to upgrade the sewer pipes that lay below the street. Solutions to reducing CSOs compliment other community goals and can be implemented simultaneously.

Residents, businesses, governments, and nonprofits in several CSO communities in New Jersey, including Camden and Newark, are working collaboratively to address CSOs while simultaneously advancing other community priorities. Successful collaborations improve outcomes, improve problem solving, broaden options, and build better relationships. In collaboration, each individual or group can contribute their perspective and unique skill. Local community groups and citizens have knowledge of local issues, opportunities, and constraints. Universities, regulatory agencies, and municipal governments can provide technical assistance. Local schools are often great places to use green infrastructure, as it not only aids in the CSO effort, but also beautifies schools and educates the students. Community organizations may be able to leverage funding that is only available to nonprofit organizations, which can reduce the financial burden on municipalities. Each of these entities play and important and unique role in identifying and implementing solutions to CSOs in their community.

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Copyright © State of New Jersey, 1996-2017
Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625

Last Updated: October 13, 2017

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