What is a Combined Sewer System?

Combined sewer systems are sewers that are designed to collect rainwater runoff, domestic sewage, and industrial wastewater in the same pipe. Combined sewers are predominately found in older, industrial cities in which the water and sewer infrastructure was constructed prior to wastewater treatment plant development in the mid-20th century. Prior to the construction of treatment plants, driven by the Clean Water Act of 1972, most cities discharged their untreated sewage directly to receiving waters such as a lake, river, stream or ocean. According the Environmental Protection Agency there are more than 850 cities in the US with Combined Sewer Systems.

What is a Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO)?

A combined sewer overflow (CSO) is the permitted discharge from a combined sewer system that is caused by snowmelt or stormwater runoff. Combined Sewers are sewer systems that collect stormwater runoff, domestic sewage, and industrial wastewater in the same pipe and bring it to the wastewater treatment facility. They are designed to overflow during wet weather. During rain events, when stormwater enters the sewers, the capacity of the sewer system may be exceeded, and the excess water will be discharged directly to a waterbody (rivers, streams, estuaries, and coastal waters). Dry weather discharges of untreated sewage are prohibited.

Click here to watch a short video on how CSOs work.

What is a State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) permit?

Article 17 of the New York Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) entitled “Water Pollution Control” authorized the creation of the State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) program to maintain New York’s waters with reasonable standards of purity. All communities and sewage treatment facilities in New York that own and operate sewers must obtain permit coverage from NYSDEC. The SPDES program is designed to eliminate the pollution of New York waters and to maintain the highest quality of water possible– consistent with:

  • public health
  • public enjoyment of the resource
  • protection and propagation of fish and wildlife
  • industrial development in the state

New York’s SPDES program has been approved by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the control of surface wastewater and stormwater discharges in accordance with the Clean Water Act. However, the SPDES program is broader in scope than that required by the Clean Water Act as it controls point source discharges to groundwaters as well as surface waters. The permit requires implementation of best management practices (BMPs) to reduce and control overflows. DEC developed fifteen best management practices that are technology-based controls designed to maximize pollutant capture and minimize impact to water quality. Read more about these permits here.

What is a Water Quality Standard?

Water Quality Standards are the basis for programs to protect the state waters. Standards set forth the maximum allowable levels of chemical pollutants and are used as the regulatory targets for permitting, compliance, enforcement, and monitoring and assessing the quality of the state’s waters. Waters are classified for their best uses (fishing, source of drinking water, etc.) and standards (and guidance values) are set to protect those uses. The water quality standards program is a state program with federal (U.S. EPA) oversight. New York’s longstanding water quality standards program predates the federal Clean Water Act and protects both surface waters and groundwaters. U.S. EPA defines a water quality standard to include the criteria, the designated (best) uses of the water, and an antidegradation policy. The NYSDEC DEC establishes water quality standards and other criteria for many specific substances. These standards can be either narrative (e.g., “none in amounts that will impair …”) or numeric (e.g., “0.001 µg/L”) and are found in NYS regulation 6 NYCRR Part 703.

All waters in New York State are assigned a letter classification that denotes their best uses. Letter classes such as A, B, C, and D are assigned to fresh surface waters, and SA, SB, SC, I, and SD to saline (marine) surface waters. Best uses include: source of drinking water, swimming, boating, fishing, and shellfishing. The letter classifications and their best uses are described in regulation 6 NYCRR Part 701.

The presence of high levels of fecal coliform bacteria in rivers indicates that the water contains fecal material from humans or animals, and hence may also indicate an elevated risk of waterborne pathogen presence.  Fecal coliform is measured as colony forming units per 100 milliliters (CFU/100mL).The geometric mean is a mean or average, which indicates the central tendency or typical value of a set of numbers by using the product of their values (as opposed to the arithmetic mean which uses their sum).

New York State water quality standard of 200 CFU/100mL as a geomean for the Albany Pool reach of the Hudson River.

New York State uses a geometric mean to set standards on bacteria limits because sample data is so variable. Bacteria can grow at an exponential rate very quickly under the right conditions. The geometric mean value will not be overly influenced by large fluctuations from between one data point and the next. New York State water quality standard for geomean is taken from a rolling average of 5 samples.

To read more about these standards visit the NYSDEC website.

What is the Albany Pool?

The section of the Hudson River south of the Federal Dam in Troy, and North of the Port of Albany, is referred to as “the Albany Pool.” The term refers to a “pooling” of combined sewer discharges in the region that make it difficult to determine an individual permitee’ s impact on the WQS. Because the Hudson is tidal up to the Federal Dam, it also means that CSO Discharges are well mixed in the river.

The six Albany Pool Communities (APCs) are communities with permitted CSOs in this area of the Hudson River: The Cities of Albany, Cohoes, Rensselaer, Troy and Watervliet; and the Village of Green Island. Among the six Albany Pool Communities (APCs) there are nearly 100 permitted CSOs that discharge into the Hudson River and its tributaries. The Water Quality Classification for the Albany Pool Section of the the Hudson is “B” (swimmable).

Read more about water classification and the Hudson River here.

What is a Long Term Control Plan?

Long Term Control Plans (LTCPs) are required under the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) CSO Control Policy and part of the New York State Department of Conservation’s (DEC) CSO control strategy to reduce the frequency, duration, and intensity of CSO events. Municipalities with CSOs are required to have a State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) permit.

If the best management practices are not enough to reduce CSO impacts to water quality, DEC requires CSO communities to develop and submit a Long Term Control Plan (LTCP). An LTCP is a phased approach to control combined sewer overflows that will ultimately result in compliance with the NYS water quality standards and Clean Water Act requirements. There are three major steps to developing a LTCP: system characterization, development and evaluation of alternatives, and selection and implementation of the controls.

If it is determined that water quality standards in the receiving water are impacted by CSO discharges, the Combined Sewer Systems (CSS) community will:

  • Research alternatives for mitigation of the impact of CSO discharges and choose one or more of those alternatives for implementation and submit documentation to DEC for approval
  • Suggest a schedule of construction or implementation of those alternatives, i.e., Phase II of the Long Term control plan, to DEC.
  • Implement the approved alternatives.
  • Perform post-construction monitoring, once the control measures are in place, to ensure that the goals of the Long Term control plan and the appropriate water quality standards are met.

The community Implementing the LTCP may choose from two approaches to implement the LTCP:

Presumptive approach

The presumptive approach must meet one of the EPA’s criteria

  • no more than 4-6 overflow events per year that do not receive minimum treatment; or
  • the elimination or capture for minimum treatment of no less than 85% by volume of the combined sewage collected during precipitation events on a system-wide annual average basis; or
  • the elimination or removal of no less than the mass of the pollutants, identified as causing water quality impairment during the characterization, monitoring, and modeling effort.

Demonstrative approach

The demonstrative approach must meet EPA’s requirements by addressing the following:

  • the planned control program is adequate to meet water quality standards and protect designated uses, and
  • the CSO discharges remaining after implementation of planned control programs will not preclude the attainment of water quality standards or the receiving waters designated uses or contribute to impairment, and
  • the planned control program will provide the maximum pollution reduction benefits reasonably attainable, and
  • the planned control program is designed to allow cost effective expansion or retrofitting if additional controls are subsequently determined to be necessary to meet water quality standards or designated uses.

The Albany Pool Communities have chosen to implement a Demonstrative Approach program.

To read more about Long Term Control Plans visit the NYSDEC website.

View the Pool Communities 2011 Long Term Control Plan here.

View the Pool Communities 2013 Supplemental Long Term Control Plan here.

Why is my Community engaged in implementation of a joint Long Term Control Plan?

The NYSDEC determined six permitted municipalities with CSOs on the Hudson River were each in violation of the Clean Water Act, Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) and the LTCP provision in their respective SPDES permits. The Department also determined the CSO discharges from the Albany Pool Respondents’ CSOs have caused or contributed to the violation of Water Quality Standards (WQS) for floatable solids in the Hudson River in violation of a section of the ECL that makes it unlawful for any person to discharge pollutants to the waters of the State that cause or contribute to a violation of WQS. The Department determined the Respondents are in violation of ECL § 17- 0501 for having caused or contributed to WQS violations. These violations are corrected through the implementation of the Long Term Control Plan in accordance with an administrative Order on Consent.

Due to the proximity of the six communities and the tidal influence of this section of the Hudson River, the communities, rather than prepare six individual plans, worked cooperatively to prepare a single plan with a regional approach. This approach saved funds through capitalizing on economies of scale, but also recognized the regional impacts of CSOs. More than $4m was invested during the development of the LTCP to document water quality, perform analyses of the performance and capacity of the CSS and treatment facilities, model and characterize the CSS, and develop a program that delivered the maximum water quality benefit in the most cost-effective manner.  With project planning and coordination provided by the Capital District Regional Planning Commission (“CDRPC”), and with the assistance of environmental consultants, the Albany Pool Communities prepared a draft LTCP that was submitted to NYSDEC on June 30, 2011. NYSDEC disapproved the draft LTCP on December 5, 2012. After many improvements, DEC approved the final LTCP on January 15, 2014.

What is an Order on Consent?

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is responsible issuance of State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) permit to municipalities. When violations of SPDES permits, or the ECL and/or accompanying regulations occur, NYSDEC has several mechanisms it uses to enforce the regulation. Sometimes minor violations can be resolved. When violations become more serious, the State may issue an Administrative Order on Consent – a typical formal response to noncompliance when NYSDEC and the regulated entity agree to a negotiated settlement of the violations and court action is not pursued. The bulk of NYSDEC’s enforcement actions are resolved in this manner.

NYSDEC guidance on the elements of an Order on Consent can be found at http://www.dec.ny.gov/regulations/2379.html.

Two of the main elements of an Order on Consent are as follows:

  • Penalties: The penalty amount for each case varies depending on the severity and duration of the violations. In calculating SPDES penalties, NYSDEC relies on its Civil Penalty Policy and the Division of Water Enforcement.
  • Compliance Schedule: Orders on Consent contain schedules for the actions needed to remedy any outstanding violations. The schedule outlines enforceable milestones for bringing a regulated entity into compliance. The Albany Pool Communities’ Schedule of Compliance is made up of the projects and programs mandated through the Order. It contains dates for project milestones and is accompanied by language that allows the DEC to assign stipulated penalties for each day a milestone is missed.

NYSDEC takes implementation of the activities required by an order very seriously. After execution of an Order on Consent, NYSDEC staff track progress on the implementation of the activities required by the order. This is done by inspections, written reporting or progress meetings. Any failure to comply with the terms of an order can lead to further enforcement including the collection of a suspended or stipulated penalty, filing of an administrative complaint, or referral to the Office of the Attorney General.

Read the Albany Pool Communities’ Original Order on Consent here.

The Order on Consent was modified in 2023 to accommodate a revised scheudle for the Beaver Creek Clean River Facility. Read the amended Albany Pool Communities’ Original Order on Consent here.

What Role do the County Sewer Districts Play in the Consent Order and LTCP?

The Albany County Water Purification District (ACWPD) and the Rensselaer County Sewer District (RCSD) play a vital role in this collective effort to address the CSO impacts in the six Albany Pool communities. The three WWTPs in the two sewer districts collect and treat sewage generated from the six Albany Pool communities. The two sewer districts are parties on the Albany Pool final LTCP Consent Order with the Department because the sewer districts’ SPDES permits require them to cooperate and assist in the Pool’s work on the LTCP and because the sewer districts are responsible to implement some of the LTCP projects. Treatment plant, pump station, and trunk sewer upgrades and improvements are part of the overall LTCP strategy to maximize the flow of combined sewage to the treatment plants and thereby reduce CSO discharges. It is only with the cooperation from the two sewer districts that the Albany Pool Communities can achieve the water quality objectives of the USEPA CSO Control Policy in the most efficient and cost-effective manner.

View the ACWPD IMA here.

View the RCSD IMA here.

How will the Communities be sharing the costs of the Plan and the Program?

The eight entities entered into an Intermunicipal Agreement that commits each entity to implement and fund the LTCP.  Each of the six Pool Communities has agreed to pay a percentage share of the administration of the LTCP program and all the projects contained therein the LTCP. This breakdown is as follows:

  • Albany – 58.68%;
  • Cohoes – 2.74%;
  • Green Island – 0.53%;
  • Rensselaer – 2.13%;
  • Troy – 34.76%;
  • Watervliet – 1.16%.

This Allocation Formula is weighted 85% by total CSO flow from each community, based on the CSO volume statistics for the Baseline Conditions, as presented in the Albany Pool CSO LTCP, and 15% by population of each community, based on the 2010 Census.  This ensures each community pay a proportionate share of costs based upon their impact. It also ensures communities reap the Water Quality benefits of projects no matter where the project is located. Communities share the grant as it applied across the cost of the project, and thus no community is in competition for grant dollars. It also ensured that no matter where a project was located, it would have the maximum value to the program.

Read the Pool Communities’ IMA here. 

What are the Financial Benefits of the Joint Approach?

By working cooperatively, the communities have reduced and will continue to reduce cost to their sewer rate payers and well as State tax payers.  If the communities worked independently, each community would have needed to: solicit firms to conduct water quality sampling, analysis of the sewer conveyance system, analysis of the receiving sewage treatment facility, modeling, CSO control analysis and selection, and drafting an LTCP.  The NYSDEC would have had to participate in regular meetings with each community during LTCP development and would have had to review six individual draft LTCPs.  Each community would have hired their own attorneys to negotiate with NYSDEC. The DEC would have to write and administer six individual consent orders and the communities would each have to have to retain the resources needed to administer the program (engineering, legal and financial).  Each community would have to continue water quality sampling and analysis and construct a public advisory system.  Each community would also have been competing with one another for scare federal and state financial support.  The typical enforcement order only provides 5-10 years for communities to meet water quality compliance.  The Pool Communities have a 15-year program. The longer time frame to implement the Program, spreading the costs and maximizing annual grant opportunities, is attributable to the multi-jurisdictional approach and while may not impact the size of the program overall, it does provide the communities the opportunity to seek grants or other sources that reduce the cost to local ratepayers. When comparing the Albany Pool Communities Program to neighboring communities of similar scale (population and service area) and scope (CSO area and overflow volume) the Pool Communities Program is significantly less expensive.

A clean river is important not only to the health and welfare of residents and visitors, but to the local economies of each community – hoping to attract the best, brightest, and most innovative workforce to work, live and play near the waterfront. The torrid pace of proposals for development at the region’s waterfront (From Cohoes’ Harmony Mills to Rensselaer’s DeLaet’s Landing) are evidence that clean, vibrant waterfront is important to the local tax base. This multi-municipal approach to wastewater infrastructure saves money for ratepayers in the communities and provides leverage for access to state grant money to support for the projects and programs mandated by the Order on Consent.

What is the Cost of the Long Term Control Plan?

The Communities and Districts implemented more than $10m in the years leading up to NYSDEC’s acceptance of the LTCP. These projects, referred to as “credit” projects, were incorporated in the LTCP but not subject to the terms of the Order on Consent.

The communities and Districts pledged to invest in more than 50 projects and programs in addition to the “credit” projects that were completed prior to the execution of the Order on Consent. In sum, the communities pledged projects estimated at more $145m.  The Districts committed to $30m of investment and the Communities the remaining $115m.

The Communities developed a 15-year plan and track each year’s expenses and income for the program. Visit our Budget page for more information.

How much will this impact my water and sewer rates?

With a program as substantial as this, there will undoubtedly be some costs added to the average water and sewer bill. Those costs depend on a large number of variables including how much grant support is obtained, individual community budgeting and capital improvement planning, where your property is located and more. The LTCP did perform a detailed cost analysis for program costs if they were completely borne by ratepayers.

To date, the Districts have invested more than $25m in the LTCP program. These costs were offset by $8m in grants. The Communities have invested nearly $41m in the program, capitalizing on over $28m in grants.

What is the Albany CSO Pool Communities Corporation and why was it created?

The Order on Consent mandated that the Pool form the foundation to jointly fund the CSO LTCP. This was accomplished by the Intermunicipal Agreement. In May of 2015 the Communities resolved to create The Albany CSO Pool Communities Corporation to provide a mechanism that facilitates administration of LTCP projects and programs. The Corporation provides administrative, financial and programmatic assistance to the communities. It has contracted with legal counsel, engineering, financial planning and audit services to ensure smooth and cost-effective implementation of the program in accordance with the Order on Consent. The Corporation is the public face of the program It is a 501(c)3 non-profit, governed by a Board of Directors made up of the mayors of each municipality. It holds monthly meetings that are open to the public. Agendas and minutes are accessible on our website. The Corporation can apply for local, state, national, and foundation grants and loan programs to support the implementation of the LTCP.

Read more about the Corporation by visiting that section of this website.

What is the Capital District Regional Planning Commission?

The Capital District Regional Planning Commission (CDRPC) provides staff support services to the Corporation. CDRPC and Consultant services were retained by the member municipalities prior to the creation of the corporation.  The DEC Order on Consent mandated the Pool Communities retain an independent program coordinator.

The Commission is a regional planning and resource center serving Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga, and Schenectady counties and is organized as a political subdivision of the four participating counties. Regional planning commissions such as CDRPC are authorized within article 12‐b, section 239 of New York State’s General Municipal Law.  CDRPC serves the best interests of the public and private sectors by promoting intergovernmental cooperation; communicating, collaborating, and facilitating regional initiatives; and sharing information and fostering dialogues on solutions to regional problems. The CDRPC is the entity aiding in the implementation of the LTCP and coordination of the communities, acting both as a resource and a facilitator. CDRPC is recognized as program coordinator under the Order for the LTCP and the Corporation will establish CDRPC as the program administrator for LTCP Programs. More about CDRPC can be found on the organization’s website, www.cdrpc.org.

How Will NYSDEC Know the Goals of the LTCP are Achieved?

The Consent Order specifies each of the projects in the LTCP and includes a compliance schedule. According to the terms of the Consent Order, the design for each project must be submitted to DEC on time and must be approved by DEC before construction may begin. Likewise, certifications of on-time completion in accordance with the design must be submitted after the construction of each project, and NYSDEC inspections will follow. These are a few examples of the oversight tasks that will be undertaken by the Department to ensure compliance. In addition, under the terms of the Consent Order, engineering representatives of all eight entities must sit down with NYSDEC at least twice a year to monitor the progress of the LTCP projects and work out ways to minimize or eliminate any sources of potential delay. If any of the eight entities fails to adhere to the LTCP compliance schedule or otherwise violates the terms of the Consent Order, NYSDEC can take enforcement action. Once the LTCP has been implemented, a post-construction monitoring program will commence to assess if the control program is successful in achieving the water quality goals of the LTCP.

Key terms and Definitions

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC)

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) was created on July 1, 1970 to combine in a single agency all state programs designed to protect and enhance the environment. DEC is headed by a commissioner, who is assisted by executive managers. The department has 24 divisions and offices and is further organized into bureaus to fulfill the functions and regulations established by Title 6 of New York Codes, Rules and Regulations (6NYCRR). Some programs are also governed by federal law. The NYSDEC is the responsible permitting and enforcement agency for water matters in New York State.  NYSDEC issues permits to municipalities for the operation of sewer systems, treatment plants, separated sanitary sewer outfalls and combined sewer outfalls. The DEC regulates activities under these permits. The Department has the authority to enforce the Clean Water Act and NYS Conservation law. It may audit, fine and enter into an Order on Consent with permitees.

Collection System

The system of infrastructure (pipes, catch basins, pumps, manholes and drainage ditches) owned be a municipality for the purpose of capturing stormwater and transporting to an outfall, if separated, or a pipe that will direct the flow to a treatment plant if combined in a single pipe with sewage.


Typically, a large diameter pipe that “intercepts” sanitary and/or stormwater flow and conveys this effluent to a treatment plant.

Floatables Control

Screening at the plant removes the large objects commonly found in combined sewage flow, such as sticks, debris and trash. But in times of rain of snowmelt, material can be discharged from an outfall with a CSO. To reduce this material, called Floatables because they float up to discharge pipe and are not in the flow that’s moving into the interceptor sewer at the regulator.


A dam like structure found in a combined sewer regulating chamber. During dry flow, all flow is prevented by the weir from being discharged to a waterbody. During periods of wet weather, the flow may overtop the weir in which case some flow will be discharged, untreated, to a receiving water body.  Together with the outfall, the weir acts as a passive safety valve to prevent flow from backing up the pipe or overwhelming the treatment plant.


The regulator may be a single or a series of passive structures, almost always underground, such as a weir or an orifice, that protect from flooding or overwhelming a treatment plant during periods of wet weather. Regulators are typically found at the intersection of a stormwater pipe and an interceptor pipe, the boundary of the municipal catchment system and a large pipe that carries flow directly to the treatment plant. Several regulators have combined sewer overflow pipes attached.


An outfall is the end of a pipe at a receiving waterbody (such as a stream or lake) where a CSO discharge may occur.  Outfall locations are required to be posted and mapped.

Treatment Plant

Years ago, when sewage was dumped into waterways, a natural process of purification began. First, the sheer volume of clean water in the stream diluted wastes. Bacteria and other small organisms in the water consumed the sewage and other organic matter, turning it into new bacterial cells; carbon dioxide and other products. Today’s higher populations and greater volume of domestic and industrial wastewater require that communities give nature a helping hand. The basic function of wastewater treatment is to speed up the natural processes by which water is purified. There are two basic stages in the treatment of wastes, primary and secondary. In the primary stage, solids are allowed to settle and removed from wastewater. The secondary stage uses biological processes to further purify wastewater.

Primary Treatment

As sewage enters a plant for treatment, it flows through a screen, which removes large floating objects such as rags and sticks that might clog pipes or damage equipment. After sewage has been screened, it passes into a grit chamber, where cinders, sand, and small stones settle to the bottom. A grit chamber is particularly important in communities with combined sewer systems where sand or gravel may wash into sewers along with storm water. After screening is completed and grit has been removed, sewage still contains organic and inorganic matter along with other suspended solids. These solids are minute particles that can be removed from sewage in a sedimentation tank. When the speed of the flow through one of these tanks is reduced, the suspended solids will gradually sink to the bottom, where they form a mass of solids called raw primary biosolids. Biosolids are usually removed from tanks by pumping, after which it may be further treated for use as a fertilizer or disposed of in a land fill or incinerated.

Secondary Treatment

The secondary stage of treatment removes about 85 percent of the organic matter in sewage by making use of the bacteria in it. The principal secondary treatment techniques used in secondary treatment are the trickling filter and the activated sludge process.

After effluent leaves the sedimentation tank in the primary stage it flows or is pumped to a facility using one or the other of these processes. A trickling filter is simply a bed of stones from three to six feet deep through which sewage passes.

More recently, interlocking pieces of corrugated plastic or other synthetic media have also been used in trickling beds. Bacteria gather and multiply on these stones until they can consume most of the organic matter. The cleaner water trickles out through pipes for further treatment. From a trickling filter, the partially treated sewage flows to another sedimentation tank to remove excess bacteria.

Today, many plants use an activated sludge process instead of trickling filters. The activated sludge process speeds up the work of the bacteria by bringing air and sludge heavily laden with bacteria into close contact with sewage. After the sewage leaves the settling tank in the primary stage, it is pumped into an aeration tank, where it is mixed with air and sludge loaded with bacteria and allowed to remain for several hours. During this time, the bacteria break down the organic matter into harmless by-products. The sludge, now activated with additional billions of bacteria and other tiny organisms, can be used again by returning it to the aeration tank for mixing with air and new sewage. From the aeration tank, the partially treated sewage flows to another sedimentation tank for removal of excess bacteria.

To complete secondary treatment, effluent from the sedimentation tank is usually disinfected with chlorine before being discharged into receiving waters. Chlorine is fed into the water to kill pathogenic bacteria, and to reduce odor. Done properly, chlorination will kill more than 99 percent of the harmful bacteria in an effluent. New York requires the removal of excess chlorine before discharge to surface waters by a process called dechlorination. Alternatives to chlorine disinfection, such as ultraviolet light or ozone, are also being used in situations where chlorine in treated sewage effluents may be harmful to fish and other aquatic life.

Satellite Treatment

Full scale wastewater treatment facilities are large, complex and expensive operations. The physical area to perform all the processes detailed above can be quite expansive – taking up many acres. Treatment plants are industrial facilities that often employ several staff to work on site.

For the purposes of the LTCP, the program proposed a small, centralized treatment facility that does not perform all the process of a full-scale treatment facility would employ. Because all dry weather flow is treated, and the Communities obligation to meet the Order is improve water quality by abatement of untreated flow, the satellite treatment facility selected for employment is one that will provide disinfection and dichlorination only. Thus, it will not require space for settling and acieration tanks – the expansive infrastructure often associated with full scale plants. No biosolids will be collected, stored and removed from the Satellite Treatment Facility proposed ion the LTCP.

Wet Weather

Rain or snowmelt.

Transitional Period

A period of 72 hours after a wet weather period when there may be stormwater flowing in the Combined Sewer System.

Capital District Regional Planning Commission (CDRPC)

The Capital District Regional Planning Commission (CDRPC) provides staff support services to the Corporation. CDRPC and Consultant services were retained by the member municipalities prior to the creation of the corporation.  The DEC Order on Consent mandated the Pool Communities retain an independent program coordinator.

The Commission is a regional planning and resource center serving Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga, and Schenectady counties and is organized as a political subdivision of the four participating counties. Regional planning commissions such as CDRPC are authorized within article 12‐b, section 239 of New York State’s General Municipal Law.  CDRPC serves the best interests of the public and private sectors by promoting intergovernmental cooperation; communicating, collaborating, and facilitating regional initiatives; and sharing information and fostering dialogues on solutions to regional problems. The CDRPC is the entity aiding in the implementation of the LTCP and coordination of the communities, acting both as a resource and a facilitator. CDRPC is recognized as program coordinator under the Order for the LTCP and the Corporation will establish CDRPC as the program administrator for LTCP Programs. More about CDRPC can be found on the organization’s website, www.cdrpc.org.

Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC)

The mission of the EFC is to assist communities throughout New York State to undertake critical water quality infrastructure projects by providing access to low-cost capital, grants, and expert technical assistance.

The Clean Water State Revolving Fund (“CWSRF”) and the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (“DWSRF”) are the Environmental Facilities Corporation’s core funding programs. With its partner, the State Department of Environmental Conservation (“DEC”), the corporation is responsible for the operation and administration of the State’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund. The CWSRF allows EFC to provide interest-free or low-interest rate financing and grants to support a variety of eligible water quality improvement projects, including point source projects, nonpoint source projects and national estuary projects. EFC similarly operates and administers the State’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, with its partner the State Department of Health (“DOH”), to finance drinking water infrastructure projects.

Since the inception of the CWSRF program in 1990, EFC has provided more than $28.5 billion in low-cost financing from the CWSRF to protect water quality. To improve drinking water in the State, EFC has provided more than $6.3 billion in low-cost financing for drinking water projects since the DWSRF began in 1996.

Other key programs operated by EFC include the Water Infrastructure Improvement Act, the Green Innovation Grant Program, and the Wastewater Infrastructure Engineering Planning Grant.

The Pool Communities have received substantial support from EFC in the form of Grants and Low Interest Financing.


ACWPD – Albany County Water Purification District (Formerly ACSD)

APCs – Albany Pool Communities

APJVT – Albany Pool Joint Venture Team

CDRPC – Capital District Regional Planning Commission

CFU – Colony Forming Unit

CSO – Combined Sewer Overflow

CSS – Combined Sewer System

DMRs – Discharge Monitoring Reports

LTCP – Long Term Control Plan

NOAA – National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

NPDES – National Pollution Discharge Elimination System

NYSDEC –  New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

NYSDOH  – New York State Department of Health

PCCMP – Post Construction Compliance Monitoring Plan

QA/QC –  Quality Assurance / Quality Control

RCSD – Rensselaer County Sewer District

RT – River Transect

SPDES  – State Pollution Discharge Elimination System

TMDL – Total Maximum Daily Load

USEPA –  United States Environmental Protection Agency

WQS –  Water Quality Standards

WWTP – Wastewater Treatment Plant