Impact of Climate Change on Wastewater Treatment Facilities

 

 

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Global warming… Climate change… Regardless of the cause, what is evident is that we are experiencing a higher frequency of more intense, powerful storms and storm surge resulting in localized flooding.  We need to assess and adapt.

 

As a utility manager, how will you prepare for the future? What legacy will you leave your community with regard to planning for the future to address the impact of climate change on your facilities?

Traditional Comprehensive Plans
Wastewater facility plans, comprehensive plans and the like, have traditionally been our tools to take a comprehensive look at our wastewater facilities, consider replacement of antiquated equipment with modern more efficient equipment, rehabilitate structures and buildings, and consider more energy efficient processes. Sewered growth projections are made and the impact of growth on the ability of the facility to consistently meet discharge permit requirements is evaluated. Potential future regulatory requirements are assessed, and likely order of magnitude costs developed to address these possible distant effluent discharge limits. One ingredient missing in many of facility plans is an assessment of “the impact of climate change.”

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