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Many older cities across the United States rely on combined sewers to convey both stormwater runoff and sanitary sewage. Combined sewer overflows (CSOs), containing untreated sewage, occur during extreme wet weather, when the capacity of these combined sewer systems is exceeded. Across the U.S., CSOs pose a serious threat to water quality in thousands of lake, river, and coastal ecosystems. In addition to harming the natural environment, they may be a threat to human health and have adverse economic consequences (e.g., beach closings, reduced aesthetics, tourism impacts).

In this assignment, students role-play engineering consultants tasked with developing a cost-effective plan to upgrade the Milwaukee wet weather flow management system. Students are to submit a brief report and give a presentation, and they are graded on both the quality of their technical solution and their communication skills.


Assignment is based on the following publication:

Loucks, E., D. Watkins, and T. Culver (2013). Combined Sewer Overflows in the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District Conveyance and Treatment System, Ch. 2 in Water Resources Systems Analysis through Case Studies, ed. D. Watkins, American Society of Civil Engineers, Reston, VA.

Additional Files

Milwauke_WWF_CaseStudy.pdf (347 kB)
Case study description

MACRO software and (11891 kB)
Software, data, and instructions