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Sistersville Urges Residents to Avoid Overflow Streams

By Staff | Nov 8, 2017

The city of Sistersville Sanitary Board own and operates a wastewater collection and treatment system. The collection system is a combined system, which means all sanitary sewers and storm sewers drain into the same system. During rainfall events, the amount of wastewater collected is in excess of the system’s capacity to carry and effectively treat. Because of this, the collection system is designed to relieve this excess water by way of combined sewer overflows and into local receiving streams, and the Ohio River. Be advised that when these combined sewer overflows are discharging, there is potential for health risks from the contact with the streams. Thus you are advised to avoid contact with the water during these overflow events. Should you have any questions regarding this advisory, please contact Jason W. Rice or Mitchell R. Stewart at the treatment plant at (304) 652-2859 between 7:00 am through 3:00 pm Monday through Friday.

Without proper monitoring and management, combined sewer overflows (CSOs) from existing sewer systems pose a significant threat to communities where they are in place. Currently about 390,000 people in 58 communities in West Virginia live in areas with CSOs. CSOs contain untreated domestic waste and may contain commercial and industrial wastes, surface runoff containing contaminant from various sources.

Outbreaks of communicable diseases such as thyroid, cholera, dysentery and hepatitis have been traced to contaminated drinking water. Swimming and other water contact recreation in areas affected by CSOs can also put you at risk, especially if you have cuts or scrapes where bacteria can enter the body.

The EPA and the DEP are taking steps to address hazards created by CSOs. In 1994, the EPA issued a national CSO Control Policy for better managing CSOs. This strategy requires states to identify all CSOs and categorize them according to their level of compliance with Clean Water Act requirements.

Ion 2005, WVDEP issued a new CSO Long-Term Control Plan Implementing policy.