Although the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District’s Southerly Wastewater Treatment Plant was impacted earlier today by flooding, the WWTP continued to treat wastewater throughout the morning. The WWTP is currently providing full treatment at a rate of 360 million gallons per day (mgd) and providing partial treatment to at a rate of 160-180 mgd. This treatment plant is currently operating at more than 300 percent; the average daily flow is 125 mgd.
The Southerly WWTP experienced damage to portions of several buildings, equipment and service tunnels. The Bar Screen Building – where flow initially enters the WWTP – was flooded earlier by 4’ of water and was inoperable. However, five bar screens are currently operating and are allowing flow to enter the WWTP. The Sewer District is currently assessing the extent of damage to the plant as well as the impact this will have on customers.
It was necessary to divert the flow of two additional interceptor sewer pipes, the Big Creek Interceptor and Southwest Interceptor, for four minutes each. Crews remain on hand to monitor flows in these interceptors; an interceptor is a large sewer pipe that collects wastewater and transports it to the treatment plant. Diversion of these interceptors further reduced flow entering the treatment plant by discharging wastewater directly into area waterways; the Ohio EPA was notified of this possible action.
The Sewer District’s Water Quality and Industrial Surveillance Department earlier today asked industrial customers to reduce flow which lessened the impact on the sewer system. Industrial customers were given the go-ahead to resume operations at 12:35p.m. Residential customers can also resume normal usage.
Further information will be provided as it’s made available.