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19.1 Sewer Overflows per 100 Miles of Collection System Piping

This indicator tracks and compares the rate of sewer overflows related to the wastewater collection system.

This indicator is part of Quality wastewater systems.

Indicator description:

This indicator tracks and compares the rate of sewer overflows related to the wastewater collection system, managed by the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority (ABCWUA). These overflows were not caused by general flooding or precipitation. Sewer overflow rate is a good indicator of the condition of the collection system and the effectiveness of the maintenance of that system. The indicator is compared to other similar systems: combined water and wastewater utilities; large utilities serving populations greater than half a million people; and utilities in the western United States.

ABCWUA Sewer Overflow Rate
Fiscal Year 2009 2010 2011 2012
Miles of Sewer collection pipes 2,456 2,524 2,530 2,535
# overflows / 100 miles of collection pipe 1.3 2.7 1.7 1.5
Benchmark Utilities Fiscal Year Top    Quartile Median Bottom Quartile
Combined Water/Sewer Utilities 2012 1.0 1.8 5.6
Utilities with population > 500,000 2012 1.0 1.3 2.1
Utilities located in the western US 2012 0.9 1.3 2.4

Why is this indicator relevant?

Wastewater systems are composed of two major components: the collection system and the treatment system. The sewer overflow rate measures the condition of the collection system. Overflows themselves are events that threaten health and cause property damage, not to mention public relations problems. Utilities strive to maintain collection systems so that overflows are minimized and wastes are effectively transported to the treatment facilities.


Data Sources:

Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority (ABCWUA), citing American Water Works Association (AWWA) Benchmarking survey.

What can we tell from the data?

  • The collection system is growing from 2,456 in 2009 to 2,535 miles in 2012 (over 4%).
  • The overflow rate has steadily decreased from 2010 to 2012.
  • The ABCWUA compares very well to other utilities, ranking in the top quartile of large utilities, combined utilities and western utilities.

 

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