CLIMATE  CHANGE
                          Preparing for
                           Climate  Chai
                                                                           at New England
                                                                           Wastewater Utilities
                         U.S.  EPA   |   CLIMATE  CHANGE  OUTREACH  AT  EPA  NEW  ENGLAND
                     WATER   RESOURCES:    Future  changes   to
                   temperature and precipitation patterns will have a significant effect
               on the way we manage our water resources. Based on the Northeast
 Climate Impacts Assessment report from 2006, New England will experience the following
 over the next century: longer, hotter, drier summers; shorter, warmer winters; fewer rain
 events with more frequent and intense storms; and, rising sea level.
INTRO:
Climate change is already occurring and is expected to have a wide range of consequences on wastewater
treatment in New England. By considering the potential effects of climate change, we can make improvements
today to decrease our risks in the future. The following information is intended to assist New England waste-
water utilities in preparing to effectively anticipate and  respond to the relevant issues that they can expect to
face in the coming century.
IMPACTS  ON
WASTEWATER  UTILITIES:
Wastewater utilities should be aware of the following
impacts that climate change will have on their sector:
        Increased risk of flooding
        Increased likelihood of combined sewer
         overflows (CSOs)
        Higher risk of inundation and storm
         damage for coastal facilities
        Higher effluent treatment levels

WHAT  WASTEWATER
UTILITIES CAN  DO:
Preparing for the  impacts of climate change begins by
first indentifying the particular risks and concerns for
your utility (e.g., insufficient capacity to produce more
highly-treated  effluents, heightened risk of flooding,
increased likelihood of combined sewer overflows, etc.).
You can find  models that work on small  geographic
scales (i.e., downscale  models) at http://northeastcli-
matedata.org. Once this is done, there are certain cost-
effective measures that you can take to minimize those
risks while providing additional benefits to your utility.

You  can use  opportunities  such  as  periodic larger-
scale  system  evaluations  and the  contemplation  of
planned  upgrades  or new construction to incorporate
                                   climate  change considerations into your facility design.
                                   For example, the Massachusetts Water Resources Author-
                                   ity's Deer Island Treatment Plant was built on an elevated
                                   foundation to accommodate projected sea level rise.

                                   Compiling an inventory of utility assets (i.e., any compo-
                                   nent with an independent physical and functional identity
                                   and age, such as pumps, motors, intakes, tanks, or mains)
                                   can help you determine the location, importance and
                                   condition of each asset. This knowledge will ultimately
                                   lead to an improved response in emergency situations,
                                   more predictable maintenance and capital replacement
                                   budgets, and improved security of your system.

                                   Implementing measures for energy efficiency can help to
                                   both save money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
                                   You can make your utility more energy efficient by making
                                   improvements to infrastructure (e.g., pumping stations,
                                   collection systems), getting an energy audit  to improve
                                   efficiency, or by using renewable energy sources.

                                   Investing in green infrastructure  projects,  such  as
                                   low impact development (LID), can help manage wet
                                   weather to improve water quality, reduce hydraulic
                                   loads on combined sewers,  and  reduce the risk of
                                   flooding. More  information on green infrastructure
                                   projects can be found at http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/
                                   home.cfm?program_id=298.
KEY CONTACT:

JACKIE LECLAIR
Manager
Municipal Assistance Unit
U.S. EPA New England
(617) 918-1549
leclair.jackie@epa.gov
GENERAL  INFO:


EPA NEW ENGLAND
1 Congress Street
Boston, MA 02114-2023
www.epa.gov/ne/

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  printed on 100% recycled paper, with a minimum of 50% post-consumer waste, using vegetable-based inks
            EPA-901-F-09-037
             November 2009

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