Assessing the Lake Champlain Sewer Overflow Problem in Vermont

A Methodological Design
PRS Briefs
PRS Policy Brief 1819-03
Friday, May 24, 2019

Lake Champlain is one of the most frequently visited recreation areas by Vermont residents and visitors alike. The lake generates in millions of dollars from its tourism and fishing industries alone. However, the main wastewater treatment facilities in the state have been leaking semi-treated wastewater into the Lake, due to outdated sewage treatment systems and use of combined sewage overflows (CSOs). These systems cannot handle the heavy precipitation that Vermont has encountered in recent years. The Vermont Senate Committee of Natural Resources and Energy is interested in understanding patterns of leakage in the state and how best to generate funds to mitigate the cost burden of pollution on the environment and recreational economy.