Combined Sewer Collection System

The City of Wooster is one of the approximately 772 communities in the United States that are serviced by either partly or entirely by a Combined Sewer System (CSS).  A CSS is defined as a wastewater collection system that is designed to carry domestic and industrial sewage, as well as storm water within the same system. Most Combined Sewer Systems are located in older communities in the Great Lakes and Northeast regions. The current practice in wastewater management is for the development of two separate sewer systems; a wastewater system that conveys the sanitary sewage to the Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW) and a storm water system that is utilized in wet weather conditions to accept surface drainage. The City of Wooster’s wastewater collection system contains areas that are serviced as CSSs and also portions of the City are operated as separate sewer areas. The Clean Water Act of 1972 provided regulations to address infrastructure installation practices that contributed to historical combined systems. 


The City of Wooster has made tremendous progress in updating the infrastructure to insure proper conveyance and separation of storm and sewage and to meet modern day standards. To date, 15 separation projects have been completed with a total system investment of $9,276,235.13. The intentional focus on proper conveyance ensures system reliability and to ensure local water way integrity. Reduction and elimination of combined systems and infiltration sources is not only wise businesses practice but prudent in the mission of clean water.


The City of Wooster is permitted to operate two Combined Sewer Overflow structures in wet weather events.  The locations are designed to minimize environmental impact by utilizing control methods. There is focus to use the structures as relief points to reduce the likelihood of wet weather related property damage.  


Occasionally components of a public sewer system can fail. As infrequent as it may be, a collection system can experience problems even with a proactive maintenance plans. Typical problems include main line blockage, pump station failures, and system overflows during capacity operations. Abnormal operations may lead to private service backups or result in water in basements. It is recommended you review insurance plans regarding water in basements.


If you have any questions about Sanitary Sewer Overflows or Combined Sewers please contact  330-262-5286.