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A Sanitary Sewer Overflow, commonly referred to as an "SSO." An SSO is an overflow of untreated or partially treated sewage from a sanitary sewer system.
SSOs occur occasionally in almost every sewer system. Causes of SSOs include, but are not limited to:
You should avoid contact with any water or other contents released from the sanitary sewer system as a result of an SSO and immediately report it to Spotsylvania County Utilities.
8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday: Please dial (540) 507-7300, Press Option 2.
After business hours, weekends and holidays: Please dial (540) 507-7340 or (540) 507-7350.
Spotsylvania County Utilities has invested significantly and continues to invest in sewer improvements to reduce the likelihood of SSOs by:
Unfortunately, overflows cannot be prevented entirely. The EPA writes that "a few SSOs may be unavoidable. Unavoidable SSOs include those occurring from unpreventable vandalism, some types of blockages, extreme rainstorms, and acts of nature such as earthquakes or floods."
The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VDEQ) requires that all SSOs greater than 1,000 gallons be reported to the Department within 24 hours of discovering the SSO has occurred. Regardless of the size of the SSO, VDEQ also requires that any SSO that reaches a body of water and/or that results in a fish kill be reported. In addition, VDEQ requires that the area of a reportable SSO be marked with signs for at least seven days that the area has experienced an SSO. Finally, VDEQ maintains a Pollution Response Program (PREP) database, which is accessible to the public. This database shows all open SSO cases throughout the state, as well as a five-year period of record for closed SSO cases.
You can help prevent SSOs. Here are a few tips: