5 Key Insights Into the New System-Wide Sanitary ECA Regulations

Sewer flow monitoring

If you want to effectively navigate the new Consolidated Linear Infrastructure Environmental Compliance Approval (CLI-ECA) to better take advantage of the improved regulatory process, then you’re in the right place. In this piece, we’ll focus on some key insights into the CLI-ECA sanitary regulations and how municipalities can be proactive, identify risks, and set up programs to manage costs and optimize their systems. Here are 5 key insights:

1. Inspection and Monitoring Are Key to Asset Operation and Maintenance

The words “inspect” and “monitor” are in the CLI-ECA document over 45 times, illustrating how important assessing your assets is to sewer water management overall.

In order to ensure that you have a full understanding of your assets, you will need to implement a comprehensive condition assessment—a systematic examination of your assets that will identify areas of concern. This assessment will also help you determine if your stormwater assets are performing as they should be.

Sanitary Asset Condition Assessments

This type of examination also helps in accounting for changes in population, climate alteration, etc. It also allows you to prioritize maintenance needs and can even catch minor issues before they have the chance to progress into more severe problems.

When monitoring sanitary assets, municipalities must consider several factors such as frequency and protocols for inspection, analysis and recording requirements, monitoring seasonal changes in sanitary flows, and analyzing the impact of significant storm events on the system.

2. Assessment Studies Are Key to Accurate Life Cycle Costing

Comprehensive asset performance analysis such as system-wide modelling and growth forecasting can be used to gain further insights into existing and future characteristics of the sanitary system.

It’s important for municipalities to be sure that their assets are performing up to par. This means all analyses need to be able to collect data that is comparable to benchmarks in order to create better system understanding and long-term cost savings.

3. Emphasis on Monitoring and Reporting System Overflows

Monitoring at overflow locations can be done through flow level measurements. Many overflow structures are essentially weirs, and it is possible to calculate overflow rate through a head-discharge relationship derived specifically based on the overflow structure geometry. When it comes to sensor selection for level monitoring, a non-intrusive above-flow ultrasonic sensor is preferred in wastewater applications to avoid ragging (e.g., buildup of debris caused by the sensor).

To ensure good data quality, the ultrasonic sensor needs to be placed close to the flow to avoid the ultrasonic beam from spreading too wide. As a result, level measurement range is limited. As overflow levels can vary significantly from event to event, it is highly recommended to have a redundant pressure transducer in addition to the above-flow ultrasonic sensor. As the water level rises to beyond the ultrasonic measurement range, the pressure transducer is switched on automatically.

This combination can provide excellent-quality data while maintaining a high range of measurement. Overflow monitoring at downstream locations, such as outfalls, can be measured using flow meters installed in overflow pipes to calculate overflows during storm events. Flow and level monitoring equipment can be easily tied into web-based software applications (e.g., DataCurrent) for live viewing of the data and standard reports to the MECP can also be created through these applications. 

4. Wet Weather Flow (WWF) Prevention, Reduction and Mitigation Should Be Considered in Every System

Land Development Engineering

Wet weather flow, also known as inflow and infiltration in separated systems, can produce a number of complications should excessive stormwater enter sanitary sewers.

Ensuring that your sanitary sewers are able to account for these conditions is critical.

The three programs outlined below are designed to tackle I&I issues at varying stages of the lifecycle of sanitary infrastructure and improve the performance of the system as a whole:

  • New Development Inflow and Infiltration Prevention: This program is designed to prevent I&I in both the short- and long-term by enhancing new construction practices and monitoring the results using innovative flow monitoring techniques.
  • Wet Weather Flow Reduction: This program is designed to investigate, identify, and remediate sources of I&I in sanitary sewer systems.
  • Wet Weather Flow Acceptance and Mitigation: This program will allow municipalities to accept the remaining WWF in the study area and plan/implement capital works that can mitigate significant risks to the system, based on their prescribed level of service.

These three programs in tandem can ensure that your sewers are ready for wet weather conditions.

5. The Importance of Rainfall Data Collection and Analysis

In keeping with the wet weather analysis theme, it is important to perform rainfall monitoring. Accurate and reliable rainfall data is a key input in assessing the performance of wastewater infrastructure. Because inspections of assets may be required after significant flooding events, correct representation of where rainfall “hit the hardest” will enable decision makers to accurately assess infrastructure response.

This will ensure that you are building sewers that are ready to handle the amount of rain anticipated in your region.

Contact Civica for More Information about the CLI-ECA Sanitary Regulations

Civica is a leader in municipal wastewater and stormwater management solutions. Our expertise spans across sanitary and storm sewer systems as well as natural watershed asset planning and asset management. We offer consulting on inflow and infiltration inspection services, flow monitoring, sewer capacity assessments, collections systems consulting, and more.

Click here for more information about the Environmental Compliance Approval (ECA) Regulations. Or contact us today for a free consultation.

Learn More At: 

Environmental Compliance Approval Regulations: Universal Key Takeaways

10 Key Insights Into The New Systemwide Sanitary ECA Regulations

10 Key Insights Into The New Systemwide Stormwater ECA Regulations

Flow And Rainfall Monitoring

Wet Weather Inspections to Find Inflow and Infiltration (I&I)