The Albany Pool Communities have jointly developed this Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) Notification System, which is a web-based public notification service that provides easy access to the potential for CSO activity in the Capital region. This website provides the public with information about the likelihood of CSO discharges into the Hudson River and its tributaries within the Albany Pool Communities program area. This notification complies with the intent of New York State’s Sewage Pollution Right to Know Act and the LTCP developed by the Albany Pool Communities and the Capital District Regional Planning Commission (CDRPC).
The cities of Albany, Troy, Cohoes, Rensselaer, Watervliet, and the Village of Green Island make up the partner communities in the Albany Pool Communities. Among the six communities there are nearly 100 CSO discharge points. The Albany and Rensselaer County Sewer Districts are connected to the CSO program through their State Pollution Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) permits, and are cooperating with the Pool communities in implementation of the Long Term Control Plan (LTCP) for the abatement of CSOs. Read more about this program at http://www.cdrpc.org/CSO.html.
During wet weather events, the combination of wastewater and stormwater flows may overwhelm the infrastructure within each of the Albany Pool Communities causing permitted CSO discharges to occur. Due to the presence of a large volume of stormwater, combined sewage is typically much more dilute in concentration of pathogens and other contaminants. More information about CSOs can be found in the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section of this website.
Discharges from the three wastewater treatment plants located in the Albany Pool Communities are equipped with seasonal disinfection that reduces the amount pathogens released to the Hudson River. Pathogens are bacteria that may cause humans to become ill. Seasonal disinfection occurs from May 1st through October 31th.
How to Use the CSO Notification System
Site visitors can scroll through the map or change the scale to see more of less of the Albany Pool Communities. The user can also select different municipalities to see CSOs specific to a particular community. The CSO symbols on the map will change color according to the likelihood of CSO discharge as follows:
- Green CSO symbols indicate that a CSO discharge is highly unlikely at that location. This is typical of dry weather conditions and during small, light rainfalls.
- Yellow CSO symbols indicate that a CSO discharge may likely be occurring or will occur in the near future. A CSO symbol turns from green to yellow when a rainfall event reaches 50% of the total rainfall typically required to activate the CSO discharge at that location.
- Red CSO symbols indicate that a CSO discharge is highly likely occurring or has occurred. A CSO symbol turns from yellow to red when a rainfall event reaches 100% of the total rainfall typically required to activate the CSO discharge at that location.
Depending on the magnitude of the wet weather event and the CSO discharge service area, the map may display some CSO symbols as green or yellow while at the same time others are red. CSO discharges react differently to rainfall events because the tributary areas vary in size, amount of impervious surfaces (roads, building, and parking lots) and slope of the land. These characteristics influence how each CSO reacts to rainfall events. Please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions page that discusses CSOs impacts on the Hudson River and provides further useful information and instructions on the use of this site.
For external resources about CSOs and safe swimming information in NYS visit New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Wet Weather CSO and Swimming web pages.
Please note that the information displayed in this website is a predictive system that uses results from the Pool Communities hydraulic/hydrologic model. The predicted activations are NOT based on real-time observations of sewer overflows. The CDRPC and the Albany Pool Communities have been conservative in estimating the probability of combined sewer overflow events occurring.
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