Edmonton’s Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) Control Strategy is a long-term capital works implementation plan to reduce the environmental impacts of the combined sewer system. Developed through the period 1994 through 1999, the 16-year plan was originally estimated to cost about $149 million (1999 dollars). Implementation was scheduled with some early spending in the period of 2001 through 2004, with the majority of the spending from 2005 through 2016.

The City of Edmonton is committed to the protection of the environment. To “maximize environmental protection” is one of the five fundamental operating principles of Drainage Services. In addition, CSO control is an expectation of Alberta Environment in both its Municipal Policies and Procedures Manual and in the City’s Approval-to-Operate (No. 639-02-07). The CSO Control Strategy will mitigate the environmental impacts of Edmonton’s combined sewer system to fulfill these expectations.

Performance Objective
The CSO Control Strategy is expected to result in an increase in the average annual capture of wet weather flow and treatment in the sewer system from 56% to 86% and reduction of Combined Sewer Overflow occurrences from 89 to 46.

Implementation Plan - A 16-year plan was developed from 1994 -1999 at a cost of $149 million. The plan includes: • Early Action Control Plan - This plan looks at ways to utilize the existing sewer system more effectively such as using existing available in-line storage through the real time control of movable gates. Three real time control (RTC) sites (RTC 3, 4, & 6) were carried forward for implementation. It is expected that RTC 3, 4, & 6 will result in an average annual reduction of about 200,000 m3 of CSO. RTC 4 was completed in 2002. RTC 6 was completed in 2004. RTC 3 is under construction as part of Rat Creek River Crossing (WESS 12) project, currently scheduled for completion in 2012. Long-Term Control Plan - This plan consists of upgrades to the Gold Bar Wastewater Treatment Plant’s (WWTP) Enhanced Primary Treatment (EPT); a tunnel (WESS W12 Syphon) at Rat Creek which will cross the river; Opportunistic Sewer Separation (OSS); and modification to CSO structure weirs.  Enhance Primary Treatment (EPT) – This project involves increasing the plant’s capacity to provide high-rate treatment for flow in excess of its tertiary treatment capacity that occurs during wet weather. EPT was completed in 2010.

 WESS W12 - The Rat Creek Crossing project is underway and involves constructing a 2500mm diameter pipe to convey ~ 15 m3/s flows from the City’s combined sewer areas to the WWTP for treatment. The location of the tunnel is at 84 St/Jasper Ave to the north and McNally High School to the south. Construction of the WESS W12 Inverted Syphon project started in 2005 and will be completed in 2013. Once the WESS W12 Syphon is completed, the volume of combined sewer overflows to the North Saskatchewan River will be reduced from an annual average of 2 million m3 to less than 300,000 m3 (1991 rainfall season). The frequency of CSO will be reduced to 36 CSO events as compared to 89 events annually.  Opportunistic Sewer Separation (OSS) - This program involves upgrading/converting combined sewer systems into separate sanitary sewers and storm sewers on an opportunistic basis. Opportunities arise when the infrastructure (roads, buried utilities, etc.) in older neighbourhoods are rehabilitated as part of ongoing neighbourhood renewal programs in Edmonton. The construction began in 2005 and is anticipated to continue after the 16-year CSO Control Strategy is completed. Since the start of the program in 2005, three out of the nine identified projects have been completed resulting in 34 hectares of the combined sewer area being separated. Two projects are currently under construction and four projects are in the design stage. All nine projects when complete will separate a total of 320 hectares out of a total of 4,270 hectares of combined sewer area.  CSO Structure Modifications - This program adjusts weir heights to retain more flow in the combined sewer system without causing flooding. Through this program, it was determined that one CSO site in the downtown area could be closed, and this was completed in 2008. There are now 18 CSO sites within the city, and 14 are expected to have significant CSO control benefit when modified. One CSO structure weir modification was completed in 2009. Weir modification to four other CSO sites is scheduled in 2011. The remaining nine CSO sites are scheduled after 2012.

Timeline Facts
Approval: March 14, 2000, Transportation and Public Works (TPW) approved the Combined Sewer Overflow Control Strategy Implementation Plan. [Detailed scope is noted in the plan which was submitted to Alberta Environment in 2000. Alberta Environment accepted and incorporated the proposed time frame of the Implementation Plan in City’s Approval-to-Operate No. 95-MUN-117 in June 2000.]

Next Phase

The current Approval-to-Operate issued to the City by Alberta Environment requires the submission of a new Combined Sewer Discharge Strategy. A draft Strategy will be submitted by June 2012 and the final Strategy by June 2013. The new Combined Sewer Discharge Strategy will explore opportunities to further reduce CSO discharges to the river or the environmental equivalent to a total sewer separation. This strategy has been completed in May 2012 and submitted to Alberta Environment.