Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs)

Monmouth County has dedicated sewer pipes, while NY and NJ communities north and west of us combine stormwater with their sewage (black dots, map). Combined sewer systems are designed to spew effluent unprocessed directly into waterways when rain or snow melt overwhelm associated sewage treatment plants. When constructed, combined sewer overflows (CSOs) were deemed a preferable method deal with sewage backups rather than having sewage spill into homes, businesses, and public streets. However, the raw sewage discharged into waterways north and west of Aberdeen Township ends up in the Raritan Bay, polluting swimming beaches (red dots).

The New York and New Jersey Harbor and Estuary Program has identified CSOs as a critical regional environmental issue to be addressed over the next five years.

See the Estuary Program’s 2008 Harbor-Wide Monitoring Report (pp 13-15) and its draft 2017-2022 Action Agenda (pp 11-23) for further information about water quality issues in the Port of NY & NJ-Raritan Bay region.

Read more on CSOs at the NY/NJ Baykeeper.

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