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Monday, April 25, 2016

NEWS: Special Sewer District Board of Trustees Meeting tomorrow April 25

The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District’s Board of Trustees will hold a special meeting on Tuesday, April 26, 2016, at 11 a.m. to review the Sewer District’s preliminary rate study analysis and possible rate schedule for 2017-2021.

The Board will not vote on rate changes at this time.

Rates are determined based on a number of factors, including capital infrastructure investment, debt service, projected consumption and cost-saving program participation, as well as predictive costs for overhead expenses including utility rates and chemical costs.

To help customers understand the Sewer District’s comprehensive plans for the next five years, the organization will conduct a series of informational programs.  These meetings—“Your Sewer District… the next five years”—will be held at the following locations:

Thursday, May 19, 5 – 7 p.m.
Nordonia High School, Auditorium
8006 South Bedford Road, Macedonia, Ohio 44056

Wednesday, May 25, 5 – 7 p.m.
Cuyahoga Community College, Western Campus, B Atrium in B Building
11000 Pleasant Valley Road, Parma, Ohio 44130

Saturday, June 4, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Cuyahoga Community College, Eastern Campus, Student Services Building (President’s Plaza)
4250 Richmond Road, Highland Hills, Ohio 44122

Wednesday, June 8, 5 – 7 p.m.
Cuyahoga Community College, Jerry Sue Thornton Center, Ford Room
2500 East 22nd Street, Cleveland, Ohio 44115


At these events, customers will be able to learn more about the Sewer District’s responsibilities and plans for the next five years.

The events will have an open format and representatives from many Sewer District departments—customer service, operations and maintenance, watershed programs, water quality & industrial surveillance, engineering and construction, and analytical services—will be there to share their department’s responsibilities. There will be several brief presentations throughout the event.

Additional information about “Your Sewer District… the next five years” is available online at neorsd.org/next5 or by contacting Customer Service at 216.881.8247 or askus@neorsd.org.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

WATCH: Appreciating clean-water history, future is all about keeping it real



We know it's gross, but it's true!

One hundred years ago, the earliest Cleveland sewers were designed to do little more than carry sewage away from the city, discharging it untreated directly into Lake Erie.

Untreated. Right into Lake Erie.

It wasn't until around 1920 that any kind of wastewater treatment began taking shape at the points where sewers met the Cleveland shoreline. And even into the 1960s, pollution and a lack of regulation plagued water quality, until everything changed in 1969.

Besides the shock of hearing gramps say the word "poop," Billy's reaction in the video is common to what we often hear when we talk about the history of clean water in our region. The work it takes to transport wastewater and treat it safely is complicated and costly, but critical. Appreciating our “sewer history” makes the current challenges clearer and opportunities more exciting.

RELATED STORIES:

Monday, April 18, 2016

#SewerDebate: The 2016 election is about to go down the drain April 26, and for a good reason.


We want to make sewers great again.

Our first-ever #SewerDebate will take place on Twitter all day Tuesday, April 26. You will be able to cast your votes in a series of Twitter polls throughout the day as we pose water and infrastructure questions about the four leading Presidential contenders.

The questions will help us know what the electorate thinks about the priorities and water-quality-related habits of Hillary Clinton, Ted Cruz, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump.

The series will also allow followers to share their opinions on a variety of topics regarding the work it takes to protect natural water resources around the country, and important discussion as we prepare for Infrastructure Week May 16.

Join the #SewerDebate and cast your votes April 26 with @neorsd and our @WallyWaterdrop on Twitter.


Thursday, April 14, 2016

WATCH: Watershed Stewardship Center, partners take hands-on approach to education



"Part of the story is that we [didn't] have to leave it as an old landfill."

Cleveland Metroparks Education Specialist Mark Warman recently told Fox8 News' New Day Cleveland the story of the West Creek Reservation. It's a story of the environment, civic engagement, and the future of water quality in the region.

"For 25 years, the City of Parma used this as a municipal landfill." Mark explained that the reservation's history has shaped what grows on and lives in the area. But a commitment by residents and engaged agencies helped restore the natural features of the landscape.

The Watershed Stewardship Center at West Creek now brings guests to the reservation. The center was a collaborative commitment of Cleveland Metroparks, the City of Parma, West Creek Conservancy, and the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District to bring a home for watershed and water-quality education to the region.

Programs at the center and its design features shed light on the importance of managing stormwater, reducing pollution, supporting wildlife, and personal responsibility, all of which have a direct effect on our region's quality of life.

"The Stewardship Center was opened in June of 2013," said @neorsd Environmental Education Specialist Linda Mayer. "It features a lot of exhibits about how you can be good stewards, how you can protect your watersheds and what you can do at home to make the environment better. It's a great opportunity to do something a little different and become better environmental citizens."

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

LIST: Fees to remedy stormwater problems set to resume in July. 3 things to know in our latest #StormwaterProgram update


Since being authorized last September, the Sewer District has been preparing for a July 2016 restart of assessing regional stormwater management program fees. 

An informational postcard will be mailed to customers this summer to remind them of the upcoming charges, explain how the fee is assessed and spent, and promote opportunities for credits by managing stormwater on their property. Besides the comprehensive FAQ we have available, here are 3 of the latest things to know.

1. The program's plans aim to address stormwater problems

Solving stormwater problems (flooding, erosion, pollution) can be difficult, since runoff from hard surfaces in one community drains into another. A Stormwater Management Program provides a regional approach to these problems. The Sewer District’s Regional Stormwater Management Program addresses flooding, erosion, and pollution problems by:
  • building projects,
  • maintaining streams and large pipes that carry stormwater,
  • addressing regional drainage problems,
  • providing technical expertise to communities, and
  • developing green space.

2. The fee is assessed based on impervious surface.

The more impervious surfaces—parking lots, rooftops, and driveways—on your property, the greater your stormwater fee. Visit our online FeeFinder neorsd.org/FindMyFee to determine your stormwater fee.

Residential properties

The fee is based on an Equivalent Residential Unit (ERU) equal to 3,000 sq. ft. of impervious surface, such as roof and driveway. The rate for one (1) ERU is $5.15 per month. Residences are placed in one of three categories:
  • Tier 1 (less than 2,000 sq. ft. impervious surface)
  • Tier 2 (2,000 to 4,000 sq. ft.)
  • Tier 3 (more than 4,000 sq. ft.)
For 2016, a Tier 1 house pays $3.09 per month, a Tier 2 house pays $5.15, and a Tier 3 house pays $9.27.

Non-residential properties

A non-residential property is billed on the total number of ERUs of impervious surface it has. Visit our online FeeFinder to determine what you will be charged: neorsd.org/FindMyFee


3. You have opportunities to reduce your stormwater fee.

Customers can receive a fee reduction—known as a fee credit—if they take measures to manage stormwater flowing from their properties. (Examples include rain barrels, rain gardens, and cisterns.) You can learn more about these credits and educational resources at neorsd.org/stormwater or contact a Watershed Team Leader for details about opportunities on your property.

Contact us

If you have stormwater fee questions, check out our FAQ, or you can reach us in several ways:

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

TRENDING: 5 other things that make Crying Jordan cry


The meme to end all memes wants you to know that some things are worth crying over. Here are five unexpected events that get Crying Jordan all misty.

Seeing you flush your unused meds down the toilet.
Crying Jordan reminds you to dispose of your pills safely. Flushing them can affect health and the environment, and here's why: http://neorsd.org/PitchThosePills


Watching you apply way too much fertilizer on your lawn.
Fertilizer is a key contributor to algae blooms like those in Lake Erie. Stop Jordan's tears by checking out suggestions from Popular Mechanics.


People who leave dog poop without picking it up.
Jordan just watched his Tar Heels lose. He shouldn't have to see this, too. Help him out: http://dogscantflush.org
 

A sink drain clogged with fats, oils and grease.
Don't pour these things down your kitchen drain. Cool them and throw them in the trash to prevent clogs. We also recommend not putting any of these 15 items down your drain.


People who think it's OK to flush disposable wipes.
Oh the tears! Even wipes that are marketed as "flushable" really aren't. They don't break down like toilet paper. Or crying Jordan.

Monday, March 21, 2016

SCIENCE: Tardigrade takeover? How the indestructible water bear parallels "The Walking Dead"


For all you The Walking Dead fans out there, you may be surprised to see a similarity between this AMC franchise and the science of water quality.

We introduce you to the Are-you-kidding-me?-Is-that-thing-still-alive?!? water bear, also known as the tardigrade.

These microscopic buggers are known for their ability to endure the most extreme of conditions—from heat, to cold, to radiation, to the very vacuum of space. These guys know how to survive for the long haul, and those who study them have referred to water bears as "indestructible."

Now water bears aren't out to takeover the world, and we find them to be friends in our water-analysis efforts. But if a sci-fi style "tardigrade apocalypse" was imminent, how might we defend ourselves?

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

HEALTH: How can drinking cause dehydration?



Why drinking responsibly means hydrating responsibly

Whether celebrating a holiday or the end of a work week, many people kick back a glass of their favorite beverage to toast the occasion. If that beverage is alcohol, we hope you drink responsibly, but with that comes responsible hydration.

Did you know alcohol dehydrates you? drinkaware UK explained that alcohol acts as a diuretic, acting on your kidneys to make you expel more liquid than you are consuming.

That's what increases your number of trips to the bathroom when consuming alcohol: Once you head to the bathroom to pass the liquid you just drank, you'll feel the urge to go again soon after because of the diuretic effect drawing additional liquid from your body. That can lead to dehydration and increase the likelihood of a rough day-after.

We're in the wastewater-treatment business, so we're prepared to handle as many trips to the bathroom as you need. But we do encourage keeping water in your drinking routine. It can reduce the impacts of alcohol on your system, and it's a healthier option overall. We'll even give you a fancy drink name to go along with that glass of tap if that helps.

Hydrate responsibly, celebrate responsibly, and flush responsibly.

Image credit Flickr Maya83 Creative Commons