Combined sewer overflow (CSO) systems pose significant concerns for New Jersey’s residents since they are point source discharges of raw sewage into the water bodies of the State. Water quality studies have determined that certain water bodies of the State are impaired by the presence of pathogens resulting from CSO discharges thus presenting a threat to human health. Researchers of previously conducted feasibility studies recommended that CSO discharges should be disinfected before discharging into New Jersey’s water bodies. However, since performance data and claims of these feasibility studies were not independently verified, implementing the recommendation would not be scientifically defensible.
To implement viable solutions of dealing with CSO discharges at outfall locations, the NJDEP is teaming up with Bayonne Municipal Utilities Authority (BMUA) to evaluate the efficacy of control technologies that remove floatables and other solid particles, and reduce the concentration of pathogens in wet weather flows. Also partnering in this effort are USEPA, CSO permittees, and manufacturers of the respective solids and pathogens control technologies. Upon completion of the demonstration project, NJDEP hopes to establish through independent third party verification the following:
- The effectiveness of UV and other disinfection technologies to inactivate pathogens such as fecal-coliform, E-coliform, total coliform, and enterococci.
- The performance of certain high-rate and advanced high-rate separation devices to reduce solids and nutrients.
- Effective green/clean energy technologies to provide power to remotely located physical and chemical disinfection systems.
SAGE will be collaborating with the Division of Water Quality, Office of Science and Office of Quality Assurance to use the performance data from the demonstration project to develop a comprehensive protocol that would provide the technical and regulatory requirements to assist companies demonstrate, through independently verified performance claims, that their treatment devices satisfy New Jersey’s regulatory standards in order to acquire NJDEP operating permits.
Current activities associated with the BMUA demonstration project are as follows: