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Thursday, October 20, 2016

NEWS: "I can happily announce my intent to retire," CEO Ciaccia to leave a clean-water legacy

Ciaccia has served the Sewer District since 2007.
Julius Ciaccia, Jr., has announced his intent to retire from the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, effective this coming January. Ciaccia has led the organization since 2007.

Ciaccia joined the Sewer District following a 30-year tenure with the City of Cleveland, serving as Director of Public Utilities and Commissioner of Water. Throughout his career, he has been extremely active with water and wastewater organizations, serving as President of Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA), Water Utility Council Chair for American Water Works Association (AWWA), Chair at Water Research Foundation (WRF), and as President of the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA). He currently serves as a US Water Alliance board member and locally on the Cleveland Water alliance board.

Friday, October 7, 2016

WEATHER: Do Great Lakes have storm surges?

Storm clouds move across Lake Erie behind our Westerly Wastewater Treatment Plant. Nick Bucurel.
When waterborne natural disasters like Hurricane Matthew affect the coasts, one of the biggest threats is not the wind. It's the storm surge.

The surge is the dramatic rise of sea levels and wave height along a coast ahead of the hurricane. While a hurricane is an ocean phenomenon, do the Great Lakes have storm surges? The answer is yes.

Lake Erie and its sister Great Lakes' storm surges are also referred to as seiches, changes in water levels and movements caused by storms. They can be dramatic but without the surge warning that precedes hurricane events.

Michigan Sea Grant reports one of the greatest reported seiches was in Lake Michigan in 1956 when lake levels jumped 10 feet so unexpectedly that beachgoers had to run for safety.

Lightning streak behind Easterly Plant.
Wastewater treatment facilities like ours sit right along the Lake Erie shoreline. Could they be affected by a seich? Not likely. Most storms across Lake Erie blow from west to east, the same direction as the orientation of our lake. That means the eastern and western ends of the lake are more susceptible to the large-scale sloshing of the lake water levels.

Still, rain has a major effect on wastewater treatment systems (especially in older cities like Cleveland where sewage and stormwater flow in the same sewers) and regional stream networks.

Friday, September 30, 2016

WATCH: Why we do what we do.

Cleveland has amazing water resources.

And while they are so visible that they are easily taken for granted, there are also unseen resources that help make sure our lakes, rivers, and water quality are protected.

This moving #MyWaterLegacy video from the Water Environment Federation was shown at WEFTEC—a huge national water conference—this week, and we believe it showcases why we are so proud to serve our customers and our region.

What do you think?

  • CAREERS: Our latest job openings and career resources
  • QUICK CLIPS: See all our 2-minute-or-less videos about our water-quality work

Monday, September 26, 2016

POLITICS: Print your own "Tardigrade for President" posters and make America tardigreat again.

Let America know you stand with the tardigrade.

We love the microscopic water bear and all it means for our water-quality work, but now you too can let neighbors and co-workers know you prefer the candidate who can survive pretty much anything.

Download our five posters and print your own for your home or office.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

WATCH: Kids asked Christen, "How can you stand the smell of wastewater?"

How can wastewater treatment plant workers spend hours around sewage and not get overwhelmed by the smell? Former Treatment Plant Operator and current manager Christen Wood gets that question a lot, and she said it's all science.

Monday, September 12, 2016

EVENT: You really gotta go. To our Open House and #neorsdTOUR this Saturday.

Wally Waterdrop and friends are ready to show what it takes to keep our Great Lake great.

It’s the question that has confounded children for generations: “Where does it go when I flush the potty?”

The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District proudly answers one of life’s most important questions this Saturday, September 17, at the Southerly Wastewater Treatment Plant in Cuyahoga Heights.

This annual event offers opportunities for guests of all ages to tour the largest wastewater treatment in the State of Ohio, visit an award-winning laboratory, walk through a virtual sewer, learn about stormwater management, conduct experiments with “Zach the Mad Scientist” and experience first-hand the heavy machinery and vehicles required to maintain 350 miles of interceptor sewers.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

RATES: Check your bills this quarter for the latest news on rates, stormwater, cost-saving

Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District customers billed by Cleveland Water will receive a bill insert this quarter offering a reminder of the upcoming rate changes, cost-saving opportunities, and Regional Stormwater Management Program news.

A copy of the insert content is featured below.

Friday, August 26, 2016

PROFILES: How Kate's ability to grow has helped her career, and the health of her coworkers

Kate in her role as a maintenance worker.
Within nine years, Kate Rybarczyk’s work ethic took her from Custodian to Plant Maintenance Manager.

“As a mechanic I strengthened my problem-solving skills,” shared Kate from the Westerly Wastewater Treatment Plant. “When something wasn’t working, we'd troubleshoot to determine how we could fix it, rebuild it, or modify it.”

Kate also worked to enhance her communications skills through District self-improvement courses, and utilized the Tuition Assistance Program to get an associate's degree from Tri-C. These opportunities led to her most recent management role.

RELATED NEWS: Have you considered a clean-water career?

Outside of work, Kate’s interests include landscaping, gardening, health and fitness, and winemaking. She is well-versed in all these topics. When asked for a health tip, Kate warned against processed food. “Everyone thinks they're convenient, but studies are showing negative long-term health effects.”

Kate’s passion for health and fitness led to her involvement in the Sewer District’s Wellness program. Alongside co-worker Mitch Falatach, Kate built a community garden at Westerly visible from the employee lunchroom nearby. This year, the garden has a variety of leafy greens, green peppers, hot and sweet peppers, and tomatoes.

“The garden makes [being] healthy convenient. If the operators are here at night, on the weekend, or someone is working overtime, they can go outside and grab what they need for a salad, instead of hitting the vending machine.”

In addition to the Wellness Program, Kate is involved in the Veteran’s Employee Resource Group, and she is Westerly’s lead for Charity Choice and the Women’s Employee Resource Group.

Kate, right, says these garden boxes she built at Westerly helped make being healthy more convenient.
– Story and photos by Yolanda Kelly