Critical Wastewater / Reclaimed Water Spill

A critical spill is the spill that is an "imminent and substantial threat to public health or the environment" or was the result of a major failure of a utility's infrastructure.

Critical Spill Determination


When determining if a wastewater or reclaimed water spill is a critical spill, the operator should consider:
  • The location of the spill
  • The severity and volume of the spill
  • The size of the contaminated area
  • The risk to the general public
Spills that backup into residences or buildings and spills that affect businesses associated with a high level of public health risk such as food establishments, nursing homes or medical facilities should typically be considered to be critical spills. Spills that are the result of a major failure of a utility's infrastructure, such as the failure of a reclaimed water or sewer line or a problem with a lift station or treatment facility, should be considered to be critical spills. Assume that the spill is a critical spill if there is any doubt.