Sewer Spill Prevention

The primary goal for a sewer system operator is to protect public health by keeping sewage out of our communities and environment. All activities associated with operating a wastewater system support this goal. When a wastewater system is effectively achieving zero spills, pressure and unwanted attention from regulators, environmental groups, businesses, community leaders, and homeowners disappear.  

SmartCover allows a collection system operator to know what’s happening inside the sewer well before a spill occurs. With this type of sewer intelligence®, we’re confident it’s possible to eliminate sewer spills. In fact, we’ve already done it (see Hawthorne, CA) and we can do it for you too.

CSO & SSO Prevention
According to industry studies, 75% of sewer systems are commonly blocked by fats, roots, oil, and grease — otherwise known as FROGs in the industry. Every sewer operator is on the lookout for FROGs in their system to prevent spills, whether overseeing a combined sewer system or a sanitary sewer system.

Reliable and consistent remote monitoring of water level and flow gains visibility to predict and prevent sanitary sewer overflows (SSO) and combined sewer overflows (CSO). When water levels rise above a predetermined threshold due to capacity or a blockage in a pipe, a notification is sent directly to emergency response personnel.

We Find FROGs
With strategically placed manhole sensors, operators identify FROG blockages BEFORE they become a spill. A SmartCover system provides full dynamic range inside a manhole with visibility from the bottom of the invert channel or bench to the manhole cover. With a powerful combination of ultrasonic and pressure, our sensors give you steady readings during the most critical times.

Turnkey Spill Prevention
SmartCover works hand-in-hand with wastewater utilities providing a turnkey system that combines remote sensors, satellite communications, robust analytics, and timely notifications with real-time condition of the sewer system. SmartCover has collected more than 180 million hours of sewer and storm water data to accurately recognize irregularities within the collection system without having to pop a manhole, lift a lid or roll a truck.

Most importantly, sewer operators are using SmartCover for real-time advance warning of potential issues. Not only does this make an operator’s job easier, it offers significant public health benefits by drastically reducing the probability of sewage overflows into the streets, into our waterways, or backing up into homes and businesses.

Types of Sewer Systems:

Combined Sewer System
A combined sewer system uses the same pipes to collect rainwater runoff, domestic sewage, and industrial waste. Most of the time, combined sewer systems transport all of their wastewater to a sewage treatment plant, where it is treated and then discharged to a water body. 

During periods of heavy rainfall or snowmelt, however, the wastewater volume in a combined sewer system can exceed the capacity of the sewer system or treatment plant. For this reason, combined sewer systems are designed to overflow occasionally and discharge excess wastewater directly to nearby streams, rivers, or other water bodies. These overflows, called combined sewer overflows (CSOs), contain not only storm water but also untreated human and industrial waste, toxic materials, and debris. They are a major water pollution concern. CSOs may be thought of as a type of “urban wet weather” discharge. This means that, like sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs) and storm water discharges, they are discharges from a municipality’s wastewater conveyance infrastructure that are caused by precipitation events such as rainfall or heavy snowmelt.

Sanitary Sewer System
A sanitary sewer system is an independent network of underground pipes that carries sewage from bathrooms, sinks, kitchens, and other plumbing components to a wastewater treatment plant where it is filtered, treated and discharged. 

In this type of collection system, storm water drains carry rainwater and melted snow through an underground pipeline system that ends up in nearby rivers, creeks, or the ocean. The drains are often found, built into roadside curbs, alleys, or basements floors. A storm water drainage system contains untreated water — so, the water that enters the river or ocean at the other end is the same water that entered the system.