Executive Summary – Planning for Our Future: Effects of Climate Change on CSOs

The Jersey Water Works (JWW) Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) Committee recognizes that CSO permittees, communities, and stakeholders know that climate change can harm our sewer infrastructure, but may struggle with how to plan for climate resiliency. Recently, major events like Hurricanes Henri and Ida have raised awareness and increased visibility of our current sewer infrastructure capacity. New Jerseyans have felt and seen how many parts of our current sewer system cannot handle increasingly severe storms. In New Jersey’s combined sewer system communities, where both storm water and sewer water are serviced by the same sewer, the impacts of increased storms and precipitation have a greater public risk. While CSO communities in New Jersey have recently completed CSO Long Term Control Plans (LTCPs) to meet environmental regulations to reduce CSO events from occurring, the question remains: are these plans adequate for addressing the impacts of climate change?