Regulation  314 CMR 16.00: Notification Requirements to Promote Public Awareness of Sewage Pollution

This regulation establishes requirements and procedures for notifying the public of discharges of certain types of untreated or partially treated wastewater, including discharges that fall into the categories of combined sewer overflows (CSOs), sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs), and blended wastewater.

Table of Contents

Current Regulations

Development of the Sewage Notification Regulations

Resources for the Sewage Notifications Regulations

How to learn about events near you

There are multiple options to learn about sewage overflow events near you:

  1. Subscribe to receive emails from treatment plants or municipalities
    This is the fastest way to get updates. These public advisory emails are generally sent by treatment plants or municipalities within 6 hours of the event beginning.
    Subscribe to receive public notifications from treatment plants or municipalities that may have sewage overflow events that impact the waterbody of interest. See the CSO outfall map for the location of combined sewer overflow (CSO) outfalls. You may end up subscribing to multiple lists, if multiple entities have outfalls that may affect the waterbody.  
  2. Review the website of the facility or municipality that discharges to the waterbody where the public access is located
    Permit holders are required to update their websites when public advisory notifications are issued. These may be wastewater treatment facilities or municipalities. For discharges that occur on weekends or holidays, the website may be updated on the next business day.  
  3. Look for signs at public access points
    Public access points that may be affected by CSO events are required to have permanent signs informing the public of the potential for sewage from CSOs to affect water quality. These signs are also required to have directions to sign up for notifications (see #1). Permit holders may be in the process of still installing these permanent signs.  In addition, temporary signs may be posted which include more up to date information for recent CSO events.
  4. Search the DEP Sewage Notification Public Portal
    Updates for all sewage overflow events can be found on the DEP sewage notification public portal.  Reports are displayed within 24 hours of the start of the event.

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