Effectiveness of combined sewer overflow treatment for dissolved oxygen improvement in the Chicago Waterways

ALP E. , MELCHING C. S. , ZHANG H., Lanyon R.

WATER SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, vol.56, no.1, pp.215-222, 2007 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 56 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2007
  • Doi Number: 10.2166/wst.2007.455
  • Page Numbers: pp.215-222
  • Keywords: combined sewer overflows, diffuse pollution, dissolved oxygen, water-quality modelling


An Use Attainability Analysis (UAA) has been initiated to evaluate what water-quality standards can be achieved in the Chicago Waterway System (CWS). There are nearly 200 combined sewer overflow (CSO) locations discharging to the CWS by gravity. Three CSO pumping stations also drain approximately 140 km(2). Because of the dynamic nature of the CWS the DUFLOW model that is capable of simulating hydraulics and water-quality processes under unsteady-flow conditions was used to evaluate the effectiveness of water-quality improvement techniques identified by the UAA including CSO treatment. Several CSO treatment levels were applied at gravity flow CSOs to evaluate improvement in dissolved oxygen (DO). The results show that pollutant removal at CSOs improves DO to a certain degree, but it still was not sufficient to bring DO concentrations to 5 mg/L or higher for 90% of the time during wet weather at most locations on the CWS. Flow from the pumping stations results in substantial stress on DO since a huge amount of un-treated water with a high pollution load is discharged into the CWS in a short period of time at a certain location. The simulation results indicate that CSO treatment does not effectively improve DO during wet-weather periods on the CWS.