A Texas-Sized SSO Solution

by Jimmie Schindewolf, Director; Houston Dept. of Public Works and Engineering, Houston, TX,
Wendell L. Barnes, Program Director; Greater Houston Wastewater Program, Houston, TX,
Christine A. Kahr, Senior Vice President; Montgomery Watson, Houston, TX,
Douglas Ivor-Smith, Senior Manager; Brown & Root, Houston, TX,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1995, Vol. 65, Issue 12, Pg. 55-57

Document Type: Feature article

Abstract: Houston is under the gun to control chronic overflows in its sanitary-sewer-collection system--a wet-weather problem that has plagued the city for years. For a problem this massive, the city developed a $1.2 billion plan that includes many multiphased solutions and multiple staff members to manage the program. Although designed to control only sanitary wastewater, the city's system currently operates as a functional equivalent of a combined sewer-overflow system. Unlike most other systems, Houston has more than 200 constructed overflows that relieve the sanitary sewers by discharging directly into bayous, drainage ways or storm drains. In 1987, the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission and EPA mandated the city to eliminate these overflow points and to upgrade Houston's massive wastewater-collection system by 1997. On this mandate, the city formed the Greater Houston Wastewater Program GHWP, which developed a $1.2 billion plan to control wet-weather overflows and provide relief to the overburdened sanitary-sewer system.

Subject Headings: Sanitary sewers | Overflow | Texas | Wastewater management |

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