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What are CSOs?

Combined sewers collect and convey sanitary wastewater (aka sewage) and stormwater (aka runoff). Under normal conditions, they carry both to the wastewater plant for treatment. But sometimes after a heavy rain or snow melt stormwater overwhelms the system and untreated sewage is released into the Illinois River. That’s called a Combined Sewer Overflow, or CSO. Learn more about Combined Sewer Overflow here.

The Federal Mandate

The Clean Water Act makes it unlawful to discharge pollutants from sewer systems into U.S. waters without a permit from the National Pollutant Dischargeour_permit Elimination System (NPDES). Peoria has long maintained this permit. Now, the EPA has ordered us to develop a long-term plan to get our CSOs as close to zero as possible. We’re committed to meeting our federal responsibilities. We’d rather keep our dollars here to improve the river and our city’s infrastructure than send fines to Springfield and Washington, D.C.

Consent Decree Fact Sheet:
CSO-Fact-Sheet-12-9-2020_1607623358.pdf 2020 CSO Fact Sheet

Preliminary Environmental Impacts Determination:
PEID Document


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