Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) is a system that combines the storm water runoff and sanitary lines. During a rain event if the combined pipe cannot handle the high flow it by-passes treatment and goes directly into the Cuyahoga River, sewage and all. CSOs are incredibly harmful to the aquatic life in tributaries and rivers. Pollution hazards aside, CSOs cause major physical damage to the river. To fix this problem we and stop overflow events, as a community, need to manage our storm water runoff on our own property. Below is a link that describes storm water management techniques and terminology. http://www.cwp.org/2013-04-05-16-15-03/stormwater-management If we use green infrastructure practices (rain barrels, rain gardens, and man-made wetlands etc.) we can retain the excess storm water runoff on site and reduce the contribution to the combined pipe and prevent an overflow event. Also, retaining the runoff on site you can help protect the river from physical damage as well. Below is a link to the Environmental Protection Agency's website about green infrastructure practices. http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/greeninfrastructure/gi_why.cfm#WaterQuality Due to the high cost of separating the pipes throughout the region the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District (NEORSD) will be forced to charge a fee to every homeowner and business in their watershed to manage the excess storm water. However, they have started a credit program. The program allows you to reduce the fee by using green infrastructure to retain runoff on your property. Below is a link to NEORSD's website and more information https://www.neorsd.org/stormwaterprogram.php Photo taken from: http://reformpittsburghnow.com/2012/08/24/greening-the-alcosan-wet-weather-plan/ Storm water management is very important for the health of our environment and wallets.