Lebanon, N.H. Will Separate Sewers to Halt River Discharges

A settlement involving federal and state regulators and the city of Lebanon, N.H. will lead to improvements in the operation and maintenance of the city’s wastewater collection and transmission system – preventing discharges of untreated sewage to the Connecticut and Mascoma rivers, according to a May 28 press release.

The agreement is between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Justice, the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office, and the City of Lebanon, N.H.

Since the late 1990s, the city has been under an EPA Administrative Order that required it to move toward eliminating discharges of untreated sewage from its aging combined sanitary and stormwater sewer system. During heavy rain events, stormwater mixes with wastewater, exceeding the capacity of the collection system resulting in the discharge of sewage from the city’s combined sewer overflow (CSO) outfalls.

The city will completely separate its sanitary wastewater and its stormwater sewers, at an estimated cost of $30.2 million. The city will complete specific sewer separation projects in several phases – each phase to be completed by Nov. 1 of 2011, 2015, 2018, and 2020. Under the agreement, CSO overflows will be completely eliminated by Dec. 31, 2020.

Under the terms of the consent decree, the city will complete an assessment of the its wastewater collection and transmission system’s Capacity, Management, Operation and Maintenance (CMOM) practices, which are further expected to improve the efficiency of its wastewater collection system. It will also closely monitor its CSO outfall discharges to measure the effectiveness of its separation program and will periodically report to the state and EPA on progress in fulfilling its obligations.

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