This recent article in Municipal Sewer & Water provides an interesting look at how technology can contribute directly to the overall goals of protecting public health and the environment. During an interview with Greg Quist, founder and CEO of SmartCover Systems, the article explores both the causes of sewer spills and the solutions for avoiding them.
Some of the key highlights from the article include:
- The U.S. EPA estimates approximately 75,000 sanitary sewer overflows occur annually in the country, resulting in the discharge of about 900 billion gallons of untreated wastewater. That’s a lot of sewage in our environment. The result is exposure to contaminated recreational waters from sanitary sewer overflows and combined sewer overflows contributes to up to 3,700 illnesses a year.
- Everything and anything can end up in sewer systems — fats, oils, greases, tree roots, nondegradable wipes, stormwater, you name it. The trouble is, you don’t know what people will throw into the system, and by the time you do, there’s a public health concern flowing right down the street. When it reaches the river or soaks into the ground, it becomes an environmental concern too.
- Our aging sewer infrastructure is straining under the increased demands of population growth and increasingly severe storm events. It’s enough to keep anyone up all night.
- With strategically placed SmartCover System sensors, utility workers can get a real-time view into the status of this vital network in a city, identifying blockages before they overflow onto the street, detecting stormwater infiltration before it overwhelms defenses, and locating surging sewers before they back up into customers’ homes.