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Keywords:

  • stormwater management;
  • waste/sewage treatment;
  • urban hydrology;
  • non-structural controls

ABSTRACT: A downspout diversion program in an urban area is evaluated to assess the impacts on sanitary sewer flow volumes and cost effectiveness. Sanitary sewer flows and wastewater treatment cost data are compared for the five years before and 1.25 years after the downspout diversion was completed. In order to establish a cause and effect relationship between flow volumes and downspout diversion, measurements of precipitation, consumption patterns, and system loss (maintenance, fire flows, main ruptures) for the before and after time periods were obtained. The results indicate the downspout diversion contributed to a reduction of over 25 percent in the mean flow volumes within the sanitary sewer collection network during all rainfall events, with flow reductions ranging from 25 percent to 62 percent for rainfall depths between 6 mm (0.25 inches) and 25.4 mm (1.0 inches). Costs incurred for wastewater treatment were also reduced significantly, as overtime for overflow maintenance was eliminated. Downspout diversion is a viable nonstructural alternative for sthrmwater flow reduction in highly urbanized communities which may lack available space for large scale detention facilities.