Limit the amount of storm wastewater overflow
Overall effectiveness category No evidence found (no assessment)
Number of studies: 0
Background information and definitions
Some sewer systems collect rainwater runoff, sewage, and industrial wastewater in the same pipe, where it is then transported to a sewage treatment plant. During heavy rainfall events or snow melt the volume of wastewater can exceed the capacity of treatment facilities. In such instances, sewer systems can overflow and discharge untreated storm water and wastewater directly into rivers and seas (Moffa 1997). Untreated storm and wastewater can impact subtidal benthic invertebrates through the introduction of bacteria, excess nutrients, toxic substances, solid particles and changes in salinity (Bustamante et al. 2012). Limiting the amount of untreated storm and waste waters overflowing, for instance by increasing the capacity of treatment facilities, can potentially reduce pollution levels and associated risks to subtidal benthic invertebrates (Field & Struzeski 1972).
Evidence for interventions related to sewage pollution are summarised under “Threat: Pollution – Limit, cease or prohibit the dumping of untreated sewage”, “Limit, cease or prohibit the dumping of sewage sludge” and “Set or improve minimum sewage treatment standards”.
Bustamante M., Bevilacqua S., Tajadura J., Terlizzi A. & Saiz-Salinas J.I. (2012) Detecting human mitigation intervention: Effects of sewage treatment upgrade on rocky macrofaunal assemblages. Marine Environmental Research, 80, 27–37.
Field R. & Struzeski Jr. E. J. (1972) Management and control of combined sewer overflows. Journal (Water Pollution Control Federation), 1393–1415.
Moffa P.E. (Ed.). (1997) The control and treatment of combined sewer overflows. John Wiley & Sons.