About our Sewer System

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About our Sewer System

The City of Newark has both Separated and Combined Sewer Systems. Take a look at this map to see which sewer system serves your household. To learn more about the history of the City's sewer system click here and to see old photos click here.

Separate Sewer System (SSS)

A separated sewer system consists of two different pipes running on top of the other, or “piggyback.” The sanitary sewer pipe transports sanitary sewage collected from the plumbing connections of homes, businesses, and industry to treatment plants. The stormwater sewer pipe carries water collected from street inlets, building downspouts, and other storm sewer lines to a nearby receiving stream and is discharged through a Stormwater Outfall.

Combined Sewer System (CSS)

Combined sewer systems are sewers that are designed to collect rainwater runoff, domestic sewage, and industrial wastewater in the same pipe. Most of the time, combined sewer systems transport all of their wastewater to a sewage treatment plant, where it is treated and then discharged to a water body. During periods of heavy rainfall or snowmelt, however, the wastewater volume in a combined sewer system can exceed the capacity of the sewer system or treatment plant. For this reason, combined sewer systems are designed to overflow occasionally and discharge excess wastewater directly to nearby streams, rivers, or other water bodies. These overflows, called combined sewer overflows (CSOs), contain not only storm water but also untreated human and industrial waste, toxic materials, and debris. Due to the volume of CSO flows and their contaminants, CSOs can have a variety of adverse impacts on rivers and bays, impairing vital aquatic habitats, and threatening the safety and health of those who use these waterways for boating, fishing or swimming.

Approximately 11 square miles of the City of Newark are serviced by a CSS. There are 12 permitted CSO outfalls along the Passaic River and 5 permitted CSO outfalls on the Peripheral Ditch along the perimeter of Newark International Airport. Newark holds the General Permit for these CSO outfalls under the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s (NJDEP) regulations. The City of Newark operates 11 netting/screening facilities that help minimize the impacts to the local waterways from its CSOs.

For more information about CSO please visit the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s webpage by Clicking Here.