Combined Sewer Overflows and Clean Water Goals: Recommendations from the Government Accountability Office to Track and Accelerate Progress

Wednesday, 08/02/2023
1:00 PM ET - 2:00 PM ET

Event Info





Join us for an upcoming learning session where we will hear from Government Accountability Office (GAO) staff about their new report Clean Water Act: EPA Should Track Control of Combined Sewer Overflows and Water Quality Improvements. Following the presentation, we will open up the call for discussion and Q&A.

Register TODAY!


  • Heather Dowey, Analyst-in-Charge, US Government Accountability Office
  • Susan Iott, Assistant Director, US Government Accountability Office
  • Mike Meleady, Senior Analyst, US Government Accountability Office


Approximately 700 municipalities across the US are plagued by Combined Sewer Overflows or CSOs. “Combined Sewers” carry both stormwater and sewage in a single pipe to a wastewater treatment plant. “Combined Sewer Overflows” occur when rain events overfill these pipes with stormwater, causing a mixture of untreated sewage and stormwater to spill into local rivers and streams. This pollution of local waterways is prohibited by the Clean Water Act and lower income communities and communities of color are often disproportionately impacted.

Municipalities with Combined Sewer Overflows are required by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the agency that enforces the Clean Water Act, to develop “long-term control plans” that outline how they will address CSOs to stop the pollution and come into compliance with the Clean Water Act.

Through their analysis, the GAO found that, while EPA requires long-term control plans, they don’t currently collect data – or have performance goals and measures set – that allow them to track implementation of control plans or the impact the plans are having on local water quality.

In their report, GAO recommends EPA to:

  • Develop a performance goal and measure(s) to track and assess the status of long-term control plans or other control plans for municipalities with CSOs.
  • Develop a performance goal and measures to track and assess the improvements to water quality resulting from CSO controls implemented by municipalities with CSOs.
  • Report on nationwide progress and results of municipalities’ efforts to control CSOs.

We hope you will join us on Wed. August 2, 2023, from 10:00 – 11:00 AM PT / 1:00 – 2:00 PM ET to learn more. REGISTER today.

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