Sanitary sewer overflow

Sanitary Sewer Overflow

Sanitary sewer overflow

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Description:
Sanitary sewer overflow (SSO) is a condition whereby untreated sewage is discharged into the environment prior to reaching treatment facilities thereby escaping wastewater treatment. When caused by rainfall it is also known as wet weather overflow. It is primarily meaningful in developed countries, which have extensive sewage treatment facilities. The main causes of SSO are:



SSO is distinct from a combined sewer overflow (CSO), a similar problem of untreated sewage discharges, but which occurs only in a municipal system specifically designed with a combined sewer.

History



Since medieval times rulers have been aware of the impact of raw sewage improperly discharged to the environment. Before treatment systems existed in 16th century England, King Henry VIII decreed that sewage troughs should be kept flowing so that they would not stagnate in London prior to reaching the River Thames (London sewer system). It was not until the 19th century when America and parts of Europe developed wastewater treatment, that the concept of SSO materialized; however, communities were merely happy to have wastewater treatment systems, and did not complain greatly about overflows until the dawning of 20th century environmental awareness in the 1960s. At...
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