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Wastewater Plant Wet Weather Storage Facility Gets its First Test

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News from City Hall

Richmond’s newly constructed Wet Weather Storage Facility (WWSF) received its first major test over the past week during the recent series of storms. During the 48 hour period ending at 4:00 PM on January 6th, just under 2.6 inches of rain fell according to the rain gauge at the Richmond wastewater treatment plant. Under these conditions, wastewater flow into the treatment plant can increase from about six million to more than 40 million gallons per day due to rainwater runoff seeping into the sewer system. The five million gallons of storage provided by the WWSF allows a part of that flow to be stored and sent back through the treatment plant for full treatment after the high flows subside.

In the case of recent storms, an estimated seven million gallons of diluted wastewater was provided full treatment where it otherwise would have been only partially treated (or blended) prior to the existence of the WWSF. This operational capability will continue to significantly reduce the impacts of discharging partially treated (or blended) effluent to the Bay. Another benefit of this additional storage capacity is the reduction of sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs) from the wastewater collection system. Significantly, there were no SSOs identified during this recent period of wet weather.

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