An Analysis of Sewage Discharge Reports in New York, USA
18 Pages Posted: 13 Jun 2015
Date Written: June 12, 2015
Overflows in the sanitary sewer systems due to factors such as pipe blockages and insufficient capacity are termed sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs). The USEPA estimates that 23,000-75,000 SSOs occur every year nationally in the United States. SSOs are largely monitored by state governments and local municipalities. In 2012, New York enacted the Sewage Pollution Right to Know (SPRtK) Act, which requires public notification of untreated and partially treated sewage discharges. With the passing of this law, New York joined 12 other states that have similar laws. As part of the SPRtk Act requirements, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has made available aggregated sewage discharge reports (SDRs) on the web. In this article, we make use of the SDRs to identify spatial and temporal patterns in sewage discharge incidents. The SDRs are strongly associated with the type of municipality, density and age of the treatment plant.
Keywords: Sanitary Sewer Overflow, Combined Sewer Overflow, sewage, New York, public notification
JEL Classification: Q25, Q28
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation