Log in

AWRA Philadelphia

American Water Resources Association

  • Home
  • What’s Really in the Water: CSOs Are Not the Only Pollutant Source Impacting Water Quality

What’s Really in the Water: CSOs Are Not the Only Pollutant Source Impacting Water Quality

  • 09 Jan 2019
  • 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
  • One Parkway Building, 1515 Arch Street, 18th Floor Planning Commission Room, Philadelphia, PA
  • 4


(depends on selected options)

Base fee:

Registration is closed

What’s Really in the Water: CSOs Are Not the Only Pollutant Source Impacting Water Quality

Lavanya Ramasubramanian, PE and Shawn Rodier, EIT

Greeley and Hansen 


A presence of high fecal indicator bacteria upstream of combined sewer outfalls during dry and wet weather periods has prompted authorities to identify the source of the elevated levels in their receiving waters. These sources may be attributable to wildlife, domestic animals, failing septic systems, leaking sewers, regrowth of disinfected wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluents, and other unknown sources. This background pollution from non-combined sewer overflow (CSO) sources can prevent compliance with and have a major impact on the attainment of water quality standards. Therefore, it is important to know whether the sources of fecal contamination are of human or non-human origin and whether they are related to CSOs or other sources. Through microbial source tracking (MST) techniques, including DNA amplification technology, the origin of background fecal contamination was characterized and quantified in the Lower Passaic River and two of its tributaries, upstream of CSO outfalls and head of tide.  

The aim of this discussion is to provide an overview of MST techniques, with emphasis on genetic “fingerprinting” through the quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR).  



Bachelor degree in Chemical Engineering from University of Madras, India Master degree in Environmental Engineering & Sciences from Clemson University, South Carolina


Lavanya is a Project Engineer for Greeley and Hansen where she has be instrumental in supporting  CSO Long Term Control Plans for Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission and Delaware County Regional Water Quality Control Authority. She has also worked as a design engineer on projects for New York City DEP, Pennsylvania American Water, Philadelphia Water Department and the City of Wilmington to meet their regulatory requirements.




Bachelor degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering, Temple University, Philadelphia

Professional Organizations:

AWRA Philadelphia Area Metro Section - Board


Shawn is also a Project Engineer at Greeley and Hansen. He has led varied water quality sampling efforts for CSO wastewater authorities in New Jersey and Pennsylvania and has worked as a design engineer on CSO control measures in his two years with the firm.


This seminar does qualify for 1.0 Professional Development Hour (PDH). A Certificate of Attendance will be available on site for AWRA-PMAS members only. The meeting price for non-members who wish to receive a Certificate of Attendance for the PDH is $10.00 ($3.00 for meeting + $7.00 for certificate). 


Please note: all lunch orders will close by noon on the day before the presentation. In addition, all lunch orders will need to be paid for online by this time. We are unable to refund the cost of lunch or meeting fees because they are paid ahead of time based on number of registrations.

Thank you!

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software