Weekly Discharge Report Summary & Breakdown of Municipal Wastewater Characteristics

Department of Environmental Conservation
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Weekly Discharge Report Summary

For the week of 2/11 to 2/17, 1 Sewage Discharge Report was received.

Sewage discharge reports received by DEC are posted to the Sewage Discharge Reports web page daily. The report can be downloaded as an Excel spreadsheet. 

Breakdown of Municipal Wastewater Characteristics

We all use water. As we discussed last week, there are several sources of municipal water demands that directly impact wastewater flow.  

There are several pollutants that are generally found in wastewater. Without an adequate wastewater treatment system, these pollutants would be released directly into the environment. Wastewater Treatment Plants (WWTPs) ensure the safety of the public health and welfare by removing these harmful pollutants. The table below lists some pollutants found in a wastewater stream, the amount contributed daily per person (pounds of pollutant generated per person), and a brief description of each pollutant. The amount generated for a small municipality of 5000 residents is provided to illustrate the total amount produced:


Amount contributed daily per person (pounds/person*day)

Amount contributed daily for a 5000 resident municipality (pounds/day)


Biochemical Oxygen Demand

.2094 1047

How much of the oxygen in the water is being used by biological organisms.

Chemical Oxygen Demand

.3968 1984

How much oxygen in the water that is being used by organic pollution.

Total Suspended Solids

.2293 1146

The amount of suspended particles in water. This affects clarity of the water and other pollutants may be attached to the particles.

Total Nitrogen  (as N)

.0396 198

Important nutrient for the growth of plants and animals in water. Too much nitrogen can harm aquatic life, water supplies and recreational uses.

Total Phosphorus (as P)

.0088 44

Important nutrient that supports the growth of plants and animals in water. Too much phosphorus can harm aquatic life, water supplies, and recreational uses by causing excessive algae growth.

The amount of each pollutant generated per person is relatively low. However, even in a town with a relatively low population, the total amount produced is very high. It is important to note that every system is different and depending on the contributors, each wastewater system can have vastly different characteristics.

Source: Qasim, Syed R. Wastewater Treatment Plants: Planning, Design, and Operation, Second Edition. Boca Raton, Florida. 1999. Print.

Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) Wet Weather Advisory

DEC has a Google Map of the CSO locations in New York and a CSO Wet Weather Advisory web page. The purpose of the map and advisory is to help New Yorkers and their families make informed decisions before recreating on a waterbody.

CSO outfalls may discharge rainwater mixed with untreated sewage during or following rainfall or snowmelt events and may contain bacteria that can cause illness. DEC advises the public to avoid contact or recreation (swimming, boating, and fishing) in a waterbody with a CSO outfall during or after a rainfall or snowmelt event.