James River Water Levels

Westham Gauge
Gauge Height: 12.09'
Flow: 42600 cfps

Trail Conditions: Richmond

  • Powhite is usable now! There are about 3 big trees down but the trail is dry.

Todays Tides: Richmond Locks

High Tide: 9:54am
Low Tide: 5:12pm

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Posted In: Environment

Richmond’s CSO System Explained

Andy Thompson

November 3, 2017 9:00am

If you’re feeling kinda wonkish this lovely Friday morning, maybe even a little nerdy in an outdoorsy way, you’ll enjoy this low-budget, high-information video from Richmond’s Department of Public Utilities. It’s about the Combined Sewer Overflow system that Richmond (and most other older East Coast cities) has. Never heard of CSOs? Basically, in ye olde days, cities created systems that took the waste from your house and the waste from rain events and put them in one pipe. When large rain events took place, that pipe had overflow nodes that opened into the river. That’s right: Straight sewage, straight into the river. Richmond and the state have spent a lot of money over the past decades to limit those overflow events, and this video explains how — and how the whole system works.

I told you it was nerdy. But it’s also about we keep our lifeblood, the James River, healthy. Check it out.

About Andy Thompson

I was the Outdoors Columnist at the Times-Dispatch from 2007 to 2013, writing twice a week about mountain biking, fishing, hunting, paddling and much more. I live a 1/4 mile from the James River, close enough to see bald eagles soaring over my house on their way to find a meal. Pretty cool, eh?