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Sanitary Sewer Overflows

The Town is actively engaged with the EPA and DEC to mitigate Sanitary Sewer (SSOs) overflow events. However, there are actions each member of our community can take to help with this effort to protect your environment and community.

Why does the Town have SSOs?

SSOs happen when untreated raw sewage is released into the environment. They occur when heavy rainfall overloads the sewer system. During these events, the volume of raw sewage plus stormwater exceed the Town’s collection system capacity. These reoccurring issues during storm events indicate that the Town’s sanitary sewer system is being inundated with stormwater through infiltration and inflow (I/I).

What is Infiltration and Inflow?

Infiltration occurs through cracks in pipes and infrastructure. Inflow can occur through manhole lids, or through house connections that convey rain and groundwater from illegal sump pump connections, foundation drains and rain leaders.

What can I do about Infiltration and Inflow?
The Town is addressing infiltration found in the collection system sewers. However, we need your help with Inflow! If your home has an illegal connection contributing inflow, please disconnect it immediately and provide a means to discharge your stormwater to the ground.

Is there anything else I can do to help alleviate this ongoing issue?
Yes! Since SSOs occur due to demands on the sanitary sewer system capacity during rain events, please CONSERVE WATER and “THINK BEFORE YOU FLUSH”!

Conserve Water During Rain Events

Since the Town’s SSOs occur during rain events, you can do your part to alleviate high flow in the system by using less water. Water sent down drains and from toilets, showers, and dishwashers enters the sewer system.

Sewage + Rainwater = Overflows Help us to stop the Overflows!

Think Before You Flush

Not just in our community, but throughout America, there is an ongoing crisis occurring in municipal wastewater systems due to wipes, feminine sanitary products, tissues (YES – even tissues), paper towels, and dental floss being flushed down toilets. Unlike toilet paper, these products do not easily dissolve or breakdown. Wipes with packaging that claim to be “flushable” – they aren’t! When these materials reach sewage pump stations (if they don’t settle out and clog your sewers) they clog pumps which prevents wastewater from being conveyed, and – you guessed it – SSOs! These issues require maintenance and money to fix and repair (aka your tax dollars)! Please DO NOT flush anything except for the three “Ps” – Pee, Poop, and toilet Paper!



Remember this is your environment and your community, and if it seems like these issues are not your problem, remember your taxpayer dollars go towards the mitigation efforts.

For more information, please view the Town of Seneca Falls Municipal Code on Sewers: Town Municipal Code – Sewers Ch. 230.

Downloadable: Sanitary Sewer Overflows

The following links also provide recommendations by the State and Federal Government for water conservation and flushing etiquette and why you should do your part to participate: