Superstorm Sandy Affects Water and Wastewater Utilities

On Oct. 29, Superstorm Sandy made landfall over southern New Jersey. According to news sources, the 1290-km-wide (800-mi-wide) storm is responsible for 125 U.S. deaths and $62 billion in damage, primarily in New York and New Jersey. Sandy also affected more than 100 water and wastewater facilities — disrupting treatment, pump stations, and distribution due to flooding, lost power, pipeline breaks, and sewer overflows.

The Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission (PVSC), which flooded and lost power, is the fifth-largest treatment plant in the U.S. and receives municipal and industrial waste from 48 municipalities near Newark, N.J. Water Environment Federation (WEF) staff and volunteers worked with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to help PVSC and others by identifying facilities able to provide technical assistance and mobile equipment as well as those able to potentially receive solids while affected systems are repaired.

The Water/Wastewater Agency Response Network (WARN) and other resources are available to provide assistance during emergencies. Read more about preparing for and recovering from disasters in the December WEF Highlights.

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