|A Newsletter About New Jersey's Water Quality Programs|
The DEP recently issued a draft general permit that will further New Jersey's efforts to develop CSO Long-term Control Plans (LTCP). The draft permit requires permittees to evaluate the feasibility of implementing pathogen control measures on Combined Sewer Overflows. More specifically, permittees will be required to develop and evaluate control alternatives, or a combination of alternatives, and undertake cost/performance evaluations of pathogen control technologies.
Combined sewers are designed to carry sanitary sewage at all times and stormwater collected from streets and other sources, thus serving a combined purpose. However, when it rains, combined sewer systems may not have the capacity to carry all of the stormwater and sanitary sewage, causing an overflow into the nearest water body. These untreated overflows, which contain pathogens (disease causing organisms), floatable debris, toxic metals, settleable solids, toxic organic chemicals, nutrients, and organic contaminants, degrade water quality and adversely impact aquatic animals, plants, and human health in certain situations. In the New Jersey/New York Harbor Estuary complex alone, CSOs contribute 89% of the pathogenic indicator organisms.
The DEP intends to revoke and reissue the existing General Permit for Combined Sewer Systems with the addition of new provisions. The permit's current requirements and compliance schedules will continue to remain in effect without change. The new permit requirements incorporate certain additional provisions concerning the development of CSO LTCPs as required by the National CSO Control Policy.
The Public Notice for the issuance of the draft permit and the scheduling of a public hearing on October 3, 2003 was published in the DEP Bulletin on August 28, 2003, and in The Star-Ledger, The Asbury Park Press, The Times, and the Courier-Post. Information regarding the CSO General Permit Phase II including the draft permit documents is available at the Division of Water Quality's website at www.state.nj.us/dep/dwq/gps.htm. Additional information concerning this draft general permit may be obtained by contacting Dan Zeppenfeld, PE, PP, Bureau of Engineering North, at (609) 292-5563.