For Drinking Water Utilities, The Heat Is On
The Water Online offices lie just outside the confines of Philadelphia, where this summer we experienced the wettest June in 143 years of record-keeping. We also set a one-day record in July, recording over eight inches in a matter of hours. The incessant rainfall, oddly enough, made me think of water scarcity.
Moreover, I pondered the juxtaposition of East Coast weather conditions with those in the Southwest: too much rain versus too little. Both issues, though at opposite ends of the spectrum, have far-reaching impacts on nearly every facet of society, and society turns to the water industry to solve them. Too much rain will overwhelm old infrastructure, resulting in wet-weather discharges.
Sanitary and combined sewer overflows (SSOs and CSOs) can compromise water quality and make life very difficult for drinking water utilities when they occur upstream from source water intakes. In severe cases, sewage overflows can even infiltrate clean water lines.