BIRTH OF AN INDUSTRY: How the Clean Water Act and Invention of the Microprocessor Helped Establish RJN as an Early and Modern Day Sewer System Analysis Pioneer

40 Years of RJN Innovations (Part 1 of 3)  In celebration of our 40th anniversary, RJN is reflecting on its contributions to the collection systems industry as a pioneer of new techniques and early adopter of breakthrough technologies for greater accuracy and efficiency.

Back in the 1970s, the Clean Water Act and the microcomputer were both brand new. Civil engineers were in hot demand, with municipal clients eager to conduct Sewer System Evaluation Surveys (SSESs) to qualify for 75% federal grant funding to build wastewater treatment facilities. RJN Group, Inc. opened its doors in July 1975 and was performing sewer studies, but with the ultimate intent of developing new engineering methodologies to inspect, analyze, and rehabilitate sanitary sewer systems.… Read the rest

Attending WEFTEC 2015?

July 13, 2015—Paul Costa, RJN’s Vice-President and Chair of the WEFTEC Collection Systems Sub-Committee welcomes everyone attending WEFTEC in Chicago to join him at the 13th Annual Collections Systems Luncheon.  The luncheon will be held on Tuesday, September 29, 2015 from noon to 1:30 pm and features Phil Hubbard, P.E., of the Hampton Roads Sanitation District. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to learn from and network with fellow collection systems professionals.  Register early to guarantee a spot:

 … Read the rest

Can Conserving Water on Rainy Days Prevent Sewer Overflows? Part 2 of 2

June 26, 2015—In Part 1, Vincent Bergl, P.E., discussed whether or not conserving water on rainy days could help prevent overflows in separated sewer systems. Here he explores combined sewer systems, which were primarily constructed in the early twentieth century when the goal was to convey both untreated sewage and stormwater to the nearest river or stream as quickly and cheaply as possible.

OVRFLW005_lowBy design, combined sewers are significantly larger than sanitary sewers, so in a well-functioning combined sewer system, pipeline capacity is rarely the primary constraint. Rather, it’s the capacity of downstream treatment facilities that’s easily exhausted. Most urban treatment plants were built prior to the Clean Water Act.… Read the rest

Can conserving water on rainy days prevent sewer overflows? Part 1 of 2


June 12, 2015—Project Engineer Vincent Bergl, P.E. recently caught up with an old college friend who mentioned she was refraining from using water during heavy rains so that she wouldn’t contribute to overloading the sewer system. It sparked an impromptu lesson on urban hydrology (lucky her), and after hearing similar concerns expressed elsewhere, Vinnie decided his thoughts were worth sharing:

No one welcomes beach closings or basement backups, but can water conservation during storms prevent sewer overflows? The answer is maybe sometimes, but not really, depending on context. Let me explain.

SEPARATED VS. COMBINED SEWERS. Let’s start by distinguishing separated from combined sewer systems because the difference affects the answer.… Read the rest