CSO Factsheet

What are CSOs?

Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs) are discharges of wastewater and stormwater from the combined sewer system that serves much of Springfield. Sewer overflows can occur at various discharge points along waterways when volume temporarily exceeds pipe capacity during and immediately following storm events.

Why do overflows exist?

These overflow points were designed many years ago when the sewer collection system was first developed.  In those days this type of system was considered state of the art, but since then we have developed better ways to manage stormwater.  These modern techniques are being implemented in Springfield today.

Are overflows an issue in other US Cities?

Yes. More than 700 communities throughout the US have combined sewer systems that can overflow during and immediately following storm events.

What is the City of Springfield doing about overflows?

The City of Springfield has a Storm Water Management Plan (SWMP) and a CSO Long Term Control Plan.  Both plans address efforts by the city for improving water quality of our local streams by treating or eliminating overflows.  The Long Term Control Plan is currently being revised to include the latest technologies to combat the CSO issue.

How will residents benefit?

Reducing overflows improves our environment and surface water quality while enhancing recreational and economic opportunities.

Where are the overflow points located?

Discharge locations that may activate are along Buck Creek from Old Reid Park to the US Route 40 Bridge near Snyder Park. There are also several CSOs along Mill Run and two on Mill Creek. Lastly, there is a Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) Bypass Station located near the US Route 68 Bridge on the Mad River. All 58 locations are marked with signage.   Click here for a list of all CSO locations within the City of Springfield.

How often do they overflow?

The frequency and volume depend on the amount of precipitation received, but a typical year may have 50 or more overflows.

If I see an overflow sign, is it safe to swim near it?

First, be aware that swimming in unsupervised local waterways is dangerous.  If you see a CSO sign, you should avoid contact with the creek or stream for at least 24 hours after the storm has ended and caution should be exercised thereafter.

Can residents help prevent overflows?
  1. Yes! Please check your downspouts and foundation drains to make sure they are not connected to the sanitary sewer. These outdated connections, which are common in older homes, add excess water to the system during wet weather. It is also important to make any needed repairs on your home sewer line.
  2. Please dispose of grease properly to avoid blockages in city and homeowner sewers, which can cause overflows in waterways and basement backups. Do not pour grease into sinks or other drains. After it cools place grease in the trash in a sealed container such as a coffee can.
  3. Discard disposable wipes in your trash. They do not dissolve or break down and do stop up city and homeowner sewers.
Should residents report a suspected sewer backup?

Yes. Please report any suspected overflows or basement backups in Springfield immediately to the City Service Center at (937) 525-5800.

Who should I contact with general questions and concerns?

If you have questions about CSOs or wish to report missing, damaged, or vandalized signs and equipment, please contact the City Service Center at (937) 525-5800.

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