GIS to assist with pollution discharge elimination

​As the environment becomes a focus within local government, issues
such as sewage discharge into fresh water rivers and streams becomes a
concern. As part of the National Pollution Discharge Elimination Study
(NPDES), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) works with the City
of Des Plaines to ensure they are taking the necessary steps to regulate
and reduce the amount of sewage discharge they produce.

The city’s Public Works department has recently worked on several
projects that relate to two major influences of discharge rates, surface
water run-off and potential sewage flowrate capacity. As related to
surface run-off, the department was interested in providing street
sweeping route infomration to the EPA to show that they are actively
removing litter and other elements that could wash into nearby water
bodies during a storm. To assist with this process, the village
contacted the Geographic Information System (GIS) department to create a
map that would help to show the extent to which the city is performing
this service. By displaying this information spatially on a city-wide
scale, the EPA would get a comprehensive view of the department’s
efforts to comply with the NPDES program.

To study the sewage flowrate capacity, the GIS department created a
basic inventory of the city owned and maintained sanitary system pump
stations. The Public Works department performed field checks and marked
the locations of each facility on existing maps of the city and then
provided these maps to the GIS department for input. Once the
information was added to the GIS system, basic maps of the facility
locations were created to assist the department in performing an
analysis on the city’s ability to move sewage through the sanitary main
system. This capability affects the amount of sewage that can
potentially be released into surrounding rivers or streams during a
major storm event. Viewing these assests on a city-wide scale provides a
broad view for both the department and the EPA to see how equiped the
city is handle potential overflow problems that could effect sewage
discharge rates.

The various aspects of the NPDES program are continually being
reviewed and enforced by the EPA. Projects completed in the past will
lead to more projects in the future. Using GIS to assist with these
projects has provided the city with the ability to view city assests and
to perform important analysis that would otherwise be difficult and
time-consuming. GIS has helped to improve the ability of all city
departments in providing the EPA with critical information that ensures
the city is in compliance with efforts to reduce local water pollution.

GIS to assist with pollution discharge elimination

​As the environment becomes a focus within local government, issues
such as sewage discharge into fresh water rivers and streams becomes a
concern. As part of the National Pollution Discharge Elimination Study
(NPDES), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) works with the City
of Des Plaines to ensure they are taking the necessary steps to regulate
and reduce the amount of sewage discharge they produce.

The city’s Public Works department has recently worked on several
projects that relate to two major influences of discharge rates, surface
water run-off and potential sewage flowrate capacity. As related to
surface run-off, the department was interested in providing street
sweeping route infomration to the EPA to show that they are actively
removing litter and other elements that could wash into nearby water
bodies during a storm. To assist with this process, the village
contacted the Geographic Information System (GIS) department to create a
map that would help to show the extent to which the city is performing
this service. By displaying this information spatially on a city-wide
scale, the EPA would get a comprehensive view of the department’s
efforts to comply with the NPDES program.

To study the sewage flowrate capacity, the GIS department created a
basic inventory of the city owned and maintained sanitary system pump
stations. The Public Works department performed field checks and marked
the locations of each facility on existing maps of the city and then
provided these maps to the GIS department for input. Once the
information was added to the GIS system, basic maps of the facility
locations were created to assist the department in performing an
analysis on the city’s ability to move sewage through the sanitary main
system. This capability affects the amount of sewage that can
potentially be released into surrounding rivers or streams during a
major storm event. Viewing these assests on a city-wide scale provides a
broad view for both the department and the EPA to see how equiped the
city is handle potential overflow problems that could effect sewage
discharge rates.

The various aspects of the NPDES program are continually being
reviewed and enforced by the EPA. Projects completed in the past will
lead to more projects in the future. Using GIS to assist with these
projects has provided the city with the ability to view city assests and
to perform important analysis that would otherwise be difficult and
time-consuming. GIS has helped to improve the ability of all city
departments in providing the EPA with critical information that ensures
the city is in compliance with efforts to reduce local water pollution.