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Thursday, December 29, 2011

NEWS: Green infrastructure projects will sprout in 2012

As part of its plan to reduce the amount raw sewage entering local waterways, the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District submitted its green infrastructure plan [PDF] to the United States Environmental Protection Agency yesterday.

The plan is a component of the Project Clean Lake consent decree signed between the Sewer District and the federal government which details the long-term program for reducing combined sewer overflows into the environment. The $3 billion 25-year program will reduce the total volume of combined sewer overflows from 4.5 billion gallons to 494 million gallons annually. Of the 4.5 billion gallons, 44 million gallons will be reduced through the use of green infrastructure.

The Plain Dealer featured a story on the program and its potential today.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

RATES: Changes effective Jan. 1

On January 1, 2012, the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District's rates and billing structure is changing. Here is a summary to help you better understand the changes.

No more minimum charge
Before 2012, users were charged a for 1,000 cubic feet of water (1 MCF, or 7,480 gallons) of water consumption, even if their actual usage was lower. This year, that minimum charge is eliminated and replaced by a base charge of $5.85, which means those who use less than 1 MCF per quarter initially will see a decrease in their sewer bills. View the rate schedule

Higher Homestead discount
Increasing the Homestead Program rate reduction from 33% to 40%, which will assist low-income seniors and customers will disabilities. The income limit for Homestead applicants in 2012 will be $30,500. Read more

New Affordability program
We are adding a Wastewater Affordability Program to our cost-saving programs offerings to benefit those with income level at/below 200% Federal poverty level (e.g. Family of four < $44,700). Learn about all of our cost-saving programs | View all Affordability Program income limits

Crisis Assistance program coming in late 2012
We are designing a Crisis Assistance Program (e.g. Medical expenses, job loss) which will be detailed in late 2012.

To learn more about what to expect in your first bills of 2012, contact us or our Customer Service department at (216) 881-8247.

Friday, December 23, 2011

BEST OF: Top @neorsd stories of 2011

Customers, construction, communication, community, what made our list of top headlines in 2011? Here's what we posted, but let us know what you think we may have missed.

Friday, December 16, 2011

BEST OF: Wally's top tweets of 2011

When Wally Waterdrop posted his first tweet in 2009, we didn't know how we might use Twitter, or Facebook, or YouTube for our customers' benefit. Our top tweets reveal a few ways in which we hope our social media efforts made a difference. Check it out on Storify.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

ASK US: "I shut off my water. Why do I have sewer charges?"

Our Ask Us! page recently received the following email from a customer who spends several months a year out west:
I spend the winter in Arizona. I shut my water off but I still have sewer charges. Is there any way of avoiding these charges since i'm not using my water for almost 8 months?
It's a good question. The direct answer is "No," but I'll quickly follow-up by saying, "but here's what we're doing..."

First, a bit of background: For most customers, we bill based on water-meter readings (water consumption, measured in MCF which is 1,000 cubic feet or 7,480 gallons) because most water entering the home eventually exits into a sewer. A typical customer account uses 1.875 MCF per quarter, or about 14,025 gallons of water. Many customers use less than 1 MCF per quarter, but through 2011, our accounting method has assessed accounts a 1 MCF minimum charge, even when the actual metered consumption was less than 7,480 gallons. We shared some of the reasons for the minimum charge during our 2011 series of public rate meetings.

That is changing January 1, 2012 to the benefit of many small users, and even for special circumstances like our Ask Us! emailer.

As we presented last spring, our fee structure is changing in 2012, replacing the 1 MCF minimum (about $30-50, depending on your community) with a $5.85 base fee plus the actual metered-consumption charge.

Here's an example.

A small user in Cleveland, based on .63 MCF over a three-month period in 2011, would be charged for a full 1 MCF, or $44 for the quarter. Starting next year, that same customer—based on the $5.85 charge and actual consumption charges—would pay $37 per quarter. The charges will be based on actual consumption, rather than the 1 MCF minimum.

And that example doesn't even take our expanded cost-saving programs into account.

The 1 MCF minimum charge had been a significant challenge for many customers. As we reviewed our rate options last year, eliminating this charge and instituting a base fee was an opportunity to serve our customers while enabling us to meet the funding challenges ahead.

Friday, December 2, 2011

ARCHIVES: "Detailed plan, 1902"

Scanned from a series of glass-plate slides from the early 1900s, this 1902 blueprint shows a schematic for a primary filter.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

TECH: Are water utilities a target for hackers?

Photo by Getty Images courtesy
Earlier this month, an Illinois water utility confirmed it was the victim of an apparent cyber attack which led to the failure of one of its pumps. While Chicago's ABC affiliate reports that Federal authorities had not yet confirmed the details, the utility said foreign hackers gained control of the equipment using its computer system's remote access.  

UPDATE 2011 12/1: The DHS and FBI reported this evening that they have found no evidence of hacking.

UPDATE 2011 12/2: Wired ran a very detailed account of the "comedy of errors" that led to the original report.

It could be the first example of a cyber attack on a public utility, according to WLS-TV, but Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District officials are well aware that it would not be the last.

"This is an identified vulnerability nationally," said Jim Davidson, Safety and Security Manager, "not only for the water sector but for most of critical infrastructure including chemical, energy and transportation."

Many utilities, including the Sewer District, use a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system to manage controls such as regulators and pumps remotely. That automation does not come without risks, according to Director of Information Technology Humberto Sanchez, and the Sewer District constantly reviews safety measures to protect its assets, employees, and the public.

"We conduct security assessments to validate how effective our security configurations and procedures are," Sanchez said, "because hackers and viruses have grown more sophisticated."

Davidson said both the hardware and the management of it are critical to maintain proper security. "Our physical security steps include installing and maintaining firewalls and screening networks for viruses. Procedurally, we restrict remote access and protect critical data through backups and storage in safe places."

There are other measures—some of which have been in place for years—by which the Sewer District further protects its system and infrastructure from "accidental impact or malicious intent," according to Plant Automation Engineer Scott Sander.

"It's an ongoing and growing responsibility," Sanchez added.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

CUSTOMERS: Call volumes higher as interest in savings programs grows

Call volumes to our Customer Service department are higher this week as residents are applying for and requesting details about the Sewer District's expanded cost-saving programs.

Last Thursday, the Sewer District began mailing its letter to customers explaining the 2012 rate schedule and new program offerings, and residents began receiving those letters yesterday.

Our Customer Service representatives are working efficiently to answer customers' questions. You may also visit our Ask Us! page to submit your question online.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

NEWS: Customers will receive letter this week explaining rates, saving programs

Sewer bills are going up the first quarter of 2012, and all Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District customers will receive a letter being mailed this week explaining the 2012 rate schedule and new cost-saving programs.

Read the letter | Download the cost-saving programs brochure

Friday, November 4, 2011

VIDEO: Students learn how our work affects the world around them

What does the Sewer District do? It's a question common to classrooms we visit, coming from teachers and parents as often as it comes from the students.

Our involvment with local schools at all levels gives students a chance to learn more about our clean-water work and understand its value to public health and the environment, and that lesson can benefit Northeast Ohioans of all ages. This video was created to showcase several of our growing student programs and explain how they are contributing to our region.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

NEWS: New homepage focused on simplicity, sharing

Less scrolling, less searching, more sharing.

That was the goal behind our recent homepage makeover, an in-house project to simplify our homepage content, better categorize our most popular pages, and promote the social resources our customers have come to appreciate.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

ALERT: Broken sewer pipe reduces traffic to one lane on Warner Road

A portion of a sewer pipe owned by the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District has broken and caused a sinkhole on Warner Road just north of Turney Road (near Mill Creek Falls area). Therefore, Warner Road has been restricted to one lane, southbound only, but there have been no environmental impacts.

The Sewer District recommends that motorists avoid the area if possible. The City of Cleveland will monitor Warner Road for further deterioration and determine whether complete road closure is required.

There is no sewage leak occurring and the environment has not been adversely impacted.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

LINK: Hey, where did your tabs go?

In preparation for a makeover, we're relocating some of the links on our homepage. If you can't find what you're looking for this week, leave us a comment.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

NEWS: Scrap values make manholes targets, but not easy ones

Thieves will go to any extent to cash in on high scrap-metal prices. And we do mean any extent. But when an Associated Press story this week touched on Fort Wayne, Indiana's issues with missing manhole covers, we asked our own maintenance crews if Cleveland's conditions are leading to higher rates of theft of Sewer District manhole covers.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

UPDATE: Tunnels going down, building going up, and progress goes on and on

Since August, crews at the Nine Mile Creek shaft site—the starting point of the 18,000-foot-long Euclid Creek Tunnel project—have excavated an additional 75 feet, bringing the total depth of the shaft to 110 feet as of today. The finished tunnel will lay 250 feet below the surface.

Friday, September 30, 2011

PHOTO: Renewable Energy Facility progress

A worker welds on the exterior of our Southerly plant's Renewable Energy Facility. Photo credit Doug Sacha.

Friday, September 23, 2011

GREEN: 1,000 acres, 30+ green projects to be identified by year's end

By December 31, an already environmentally focused Project Clean Lake will be eco-friendlier.

The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District is nearing completion of its Green Infrastructure Feasibility Study, a requirement of its recent consent decree with the Federal government, that will identify priority areas to further reduce sewage overflows using less-traditional Green Infrastructure projects.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

EVENT: Catch-basin clean-out protocol will be topic at 10/4 meeting

On October 4, the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District will host a meeting for service directors and businesses interested in learning more about discharge requirements as they relate to municipal catch basin cleaning.

Friday, September 16, 2011

PHOTO: Weather monitor will track Villa Angela trends

Wind speed, rainfall, wave height, temperature and more data will be collected soon using a new weather-monitoring station being installed at Wildwood Marina in Cleveland.

Friday, September 9, 2011

SOCIAL: "I have no desire to Follow or Like my Sewer District."

Hey, we get it. With so many sources of news, entertainment, sports, and services in your Twitter stream, Friends, and favorite Channels, one more from your local sewer utility seems unnecessary. But we're here when you need us.

This morning, our @neorsd Twitter stream came across two accounts making very similar Sewer District statements, prompted by recent radio ads or Twitter suggestions. And the statements are valid: Sewer District on Facebook/Twitter? Who needs it?

Your Sewer District's several social media accounts, primarily Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn are resources you may never need. You might not have bill questions; your neighborhood may not have Sewer District construction in progress; you may not be looking for a career in the clean-water industry or have a community group who needs information about pollution prevention.

But our communication department and Customer Service staff are here when you need us, and our social media accounts have helped us join existing conversations about our services where they're already taking place (Facebook and Twitter, especially). At a time when the Sewer District has so much work underway—rate changes, stormwater considerations, and a 25-year $3 billion pollution control program—we're happy to make it easier for customers and residents to have issues, questions and concerns resolved as quickly as possible. And thankfully, some of our followers are, too.

So you don't have to follow us. But when you want answers, we're only a @mention away.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

STORMWATER: New round of proposed changes open for comment

Following its recent 30-day public comment period, the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District is proposing additional changes to Title V, the section of the District's code addressing the Regional Stormwater Management Program, and is also proposing modifications to the related Stormwater Fee Credit Policy Manual. Both documents have been posted for a new 30-day public comment period. All comments must be received by October 3, 2011. Read the full release.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

VIDEO: A journey of 18,000 feet begins with a 45-foot hole

This brief video shows the current construction underway at the Sewer District's Euclid Creek Tunnel Nine Mile Creek work site. This 45-foot-wide access shaft will be the starting point for a tunnel boring machine that will drill the 24-foot-diameter route for the 18,000-foot-long tunnel project.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

UPDATE: Sewer maintenance crew at work

Water flows downhill, but sometimes gravity needs a little help.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

EVENT: Hundreds enjoy weather, water at Open House

More than 300 guests spent a Saturday finding an answer to the question "Where does it go?" The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District's Open House August 13 welcomed customers and residents to its maintenance facility and Southerly Wastewater Treatment Center in Cuyahoga Heights to learn about the treatment process and how the District's work protects our environment. View photos on Facebook | View photos on Photobucket

Monday, August 15, 2011

ALERT: Swimming advisory posted at Edgewater Beach

Today, the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District posted a public advisory at Edgewater Beach; the advisory was posted as a result of a combined sewer overflow (CSO) event at the beach on August 14.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

EVENT: Full house expected at Saturday's Open House

With more than 360 registered to attend our Open House August 13, the Sewer District has closed registration three days early and is anticipating one of its largest crowds ever.

Monday, August 1, 2011

For fourth straight year, District opens doors for Open House

“Where Does It Go?” On August 13, citizens of Northeast Ohio can get the answer to this popular—yet seldom asked—question. The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District is once again opening its doors to the general public at the NEORSD “Where Does It Go?” Open House on Saturday, August 13, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

"Mommy, where does it go when you flush the potty?"

Parents, kids, friends, our Open House August 13 will have something for everyone. This :30 spot will be running on local radio stations starting this weekend. Space is limited, so RSVP today.

Performance audit affirms new business practices are on target

Today, the Auditor of State released a performance audit for the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District which praised many business practices instituted since 2007 and recommended further improvements.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Swimming advisories lifted at Edgewater, Villa Angela, Euclid

The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District is lifting swimming advisories at Edgewater Beach, Villa Angela Beach and Euclid Beach. Water samples analyzed today indicate good water quality at all three beaches. The advisories were posted as a result of several combined sewer overflow (CSO) events at the beaches on July 19 due to heavy rains. Visitors—particularly children, the elderly and those in ill health—were advised to avoid contact with the water and debris.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Swimming advisories at Edgewater, Villa Angela and Euclid beaches

Today, the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District posted public advisories at Edgewater Beach, Villa Angela Beach and Euclid Beach. The advisories were posted as a result of several combined sewer overflow (CSO) events at the beaches.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Brown, Sulik, DePiero are re-elected for 2011-2012

(L to R) DePiero, Brown, and Sulik are sworn in at this afternoon's Board of Trustees meeting
Today, the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District Board of Trustees re-elected Darnell Brown as President, Ronald D. Sulik as Vice President and Mayor Dean DePiero as Secretary for the 2011-2012 year.

It's official: CSO consent decree is signed

The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District's combined sewer overflow long-term control plan (CSO LTCP) consent decree was approved by the US District Court on June 30 and filed on the Court's docket today. The terms of the consent decree are now legally binding on the District. Known as Project Clean Lake, the 25-year consent decree outlines $3 billion of investments that will reduce the amount of pollution entering our Great Lake.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Our aging sewers: Complex, creative, critical, and crumbling

From the archives: This is a clip of a free lecture delivered by Rose George, author of The Big Necessity, at the Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland March 23, 2010, sponsored by the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Now apply for summer sprinkling program online

Yesterday, our Customer Service department launched its new online application for the summer sprinkling rate-saving program. View the form.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Question: Green roofs in Philly, so how about Cleveland?

Several tweets came across our "stormwater" feed over the last week discussing the City of Philadelphia's $2 billion green-infrastructure stormwater control plan. ...

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Trustees approve sewer rate increase for 2012-2016

Today, Trustees of the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District voted to accept the recommendation to increase sewer rates effective January 1, 2012 through December 31, 2016. The dissenting votes were Parma Mayor Dean DePiero and Middleburg Heights Mayor Gary Starr.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Successful small-business program is expanded, rebranded

It's changing, but don't think of it as new and improved. See it as rebranded and expanded.

This summer, the Sewer District's small business enterprise program, formerly known as SBE, is being rebranded the Business Opportunity Program with a wider focus on minority-owned, women-owned, and small businesses.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Report on public meetings' turnout provided to Trustees this week

During April and May, six public meetings provided customers opportunities to hear and react to the Sewer District's proposed 2012-2016 rate schedule and new affordability program. More than 490 residents attended, and a summary report will be provided to District Trustees this week.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Greater Cleveland Partnership honors Sewer District for diversity

The Greater Cleveland Partnership recently honored the Sewer District as member of its Commission 50 inaugural class, recognizing it as one of Northeast Ohio's top organizations for Board, Senior Management, Workforce and Supplier Diversity.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Full house in Middleburg Heights hears proposed rate details

Hundreds of residents assembled at the Middleburg Heights Community Center last night for the fifth of six public meetings to present the Sewer District's proposed 2012-2016 rate schedule. A 15-minute presentation was followed by more than one hour of questions from the audience, many regarding Federal funding, our proposed Stormwater Management Program, Project Clean Lake, and billing.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

"To pave, or not to pave." Is it a question?

A recent Facebook post raised a question from a resident regarding land use, specifically as it relates to vacant land and stormwater management. Last week, our Watershed Programs department took a few moments to explain what role the Sewer District might play in the future when it comes to vacant land and greenspace.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

"Whaddaya mean it's not a tax?"

During Tuesday night's Sewer District rate information public meeting in Cleveland, Alexandra was in the audience posting her comments on Twitter and directed one tweet at our @neorsd account after our speaker clarified that sewer rates are fees, not taxes: "WHADDAYA MEAN IT'S NOT A TAX?"

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Pitch those pills safely: Upcoming collection event and safety tips

A common method of disposing of unwanted medication has been to flush it down the toilet or rinse it down the drain. But wastewater treatment plants are not designed to remove these medicines from wastewater, so they may pass through the treatment process unchanged. When the treated water is released into the Cuyahoga River and Lake Erie, it can still contain traces of these medicines.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Court ruling: District has authority to implement stormwater program

Yesterday, Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Judge Thomas J. Pokorny ruled that Chapter 6119 of the Ohio Revised Code gives the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District the authority to implement the large majority of its Stormwater Management Program.

EPA touts Sewer District's green infrastructure program

In its announcement to promote the use of green infrastructure for environmental and economic benefits, the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District’s program was listed a model for other municipalities around the country. Nine other communities across the country also were mentioned by US EPA as leaders in this field.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Sewer work will restrict traffic on W. 10th through September

Sewer District contractors will conduct storm sewer separation work on W. 10th Street between Superior Avenue and Main Avenue beginning the week of April 27 through September. The project, Flats East Development Project 3, will reduce strain on local sewers during heavy storms.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Sewer work will require detour at intersection of Eddy Rd., Gray Ave.

Illustration of detour route at intersection of Eddy Road and Gray Avenue. Closure is expected through week of May 2.
The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District is continuing work on the Dugway East Interceptor Relief Sewer (DEIRS); this project will temporarily close the intersection of Eddy Road and Gray Avenue to all vehicular and pedestrian traffic beginning April 18. The intersection is expected to reopen the week of May 2, 2011.

Stormwater vs. rate increases: Two different discussions

There has been some recent confusion between the Sewer District's Stormwater Management Program and Project Clean Lake and we would like to take a moment to clarify the discussion.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

No more minimum charge? What it could mean for customers

Among the sewer rate changes being discussed at our public meetings is our proposed elimination of our minimum charge, a move made to address the most common concern from our customers. Here's a simple explanation and an example of how some of our users will benefit most.

Euclid Creek Tunnel groundbreaking set for April 20

The Easterly Wastewater Treatment Plant will host a Euclid Creek Tunnel groundbreaking ceremony April 20.

The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District will hold a groundbreaking ceremony for the Euclid Creek Tunnel on Wednesday, April 20, 2011, at 11 a.m. at the Sewer District’s Easterly Wastewater Treatment Plant. The groundbreaking event will feature remarks from area leaders as well as a symbolic shovel ceremony.

Questions in Beachwood include Project Clean Lake, stormwater

The Sewer District's second public rate-information meeting in Beachwood April 11 welcomed a small but engaged group of citizens. After hearing the District's 2012 rates and affordability program proposal, questions about organization structure and current projects and programs. We've posted a few of the questions we received after the jump.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Maple Heights crowd hears details of 2012 rate plan

The first of six public meetings to present the Sewer District's proposed 2012-2016 rate schedule drew about 25 guests at Maple Heights Library last night. The presentation included an overview of the proposed rate changes, including a new affordability program and fee structure that address common ratepayer concerns. Read our Twitter thread (after the jump) that covered the discussion as it happened.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

First rate-information meeting Wednesday night in Maple Heights

Tomorrow night's rate-information meeting will begin at 7:00 p.m. at the Maple Heights library. We will present the Sewer District's proposed 2012 rate schedule and new affordability program, and take applications for our Homestead and Summer Sprinkling programs. We will post the rate proposal and presentation at tomorrow and we plan to live-tweet the discussion on our official @neorsd Twitter account. We will also hold five other meetings through May.

Friday, March 25, 2011

What is inflow and infiltration?

Did you know? | Inflow and infiltration are common problems in aging sewer systems. As sewers age, cracks form and rain and groundwater rapidly seep into them (infiltration, as seen above). Another problem is inflow, where downspouts or storm lines are improperly connected to sanitary sewers. As a result, the Sewer District receives and treats this additional wastewater which is above and beyond our customers' metered consumption.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Rates, new affordability programs will be focus of public meetings

To keep the public informed about anticipated sewer rate increases for 2012 through 2016 and new affordability programs, the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District has scheduled a series of public meetings that will begin next month.

Monday, March 14, 2011

"What happens to the stuff sucked out from the catch basins?"

A Facebook commenter asked us what happens to the material that maintenance trucks suck out of the catch basins. This morning we confirmed the practice with a representative of our Sewer System Maintenance & Operations department.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Public meeting series begins April 5 to present rate, project details

The Sewer District will present a series of meetings beginning in April to share project information, as well as rate and affordability program details, across our service area. All meetings are open to the public, and times and locations are listed after the jump.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Southerly treatment plant running, fully treating 3x normal daily flow

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.

Southerly wastewater treatment plant flooded by storm, snow melt

The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District’s Southerly Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) is experiencing flooding and is limited in its capabilities to treat wastewater entering the plant. This morning’s flooding was caused by heavy rains compounded by snow melt and already-saturated grounds.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Stormwater vs. overflow control: What's the difference?

Last year was marked by distinct discussions about stormwater and combined sewers and the problem each is causing across Northeast Ohio. The Sewer District developed detailed programs to address each issue, but there is understandable confusion about the programs and their impacts: Don't both programs deal with stormwater? Don't both programs have an impact on flooding problems? After the jump, we outlined a helpful overview of the two separate programs, their separate costs, their goals, and where they stand today.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Treatment plant performance was top-notch in 2010

Greg Glover, Victor Chan, and Gerald Borling check the Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) to monitor phosphorous levels in the wastewater.
In 2010, each of the District’s treatment plants achieved 100% compliance with its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits. It was the first year since 1999 that all three plants had zero permit excursions.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Monday, February 7, 2011

"Rock-eating" machine to bore 24' diameter tunnel 200' underground

The Cleveland Plain Dealer featured a story this weekend about the Sewer District's $198 million Euclid Creek Tunnel (ECT) project, a component of its Project Clean Lake program. The 18,000-foot long tunnel will be burrowed up to 220 feet underground using a tunnel boring machine. This video demonstrates how these colossal machines work.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Comment period closes, consent decree awaits next steps

Once the Sewer District's consent decree—a $3 billion 25-year agreement between the Sewer District and Federal and State agencies to reduce raw-sewage discharges to the environment—was lodged in Federal court in December, it was open for a 30-day public comment period which closed January 28. But what happens to those comments, and what is the status of the agreement?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Friday is final day for consent decree comments

The public comment period on the Sewer District's consent decree with the Environmental Protection Agency will close Friday, January 28. The Federal Register offers instructions for commenting. Known as Project Clean Lake, the $3 billion 25-year consent decree agreement will significantly reduce raw sewage discharges to the environment and help the Sewer District comply with Clean Water Act standards.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Following, liking, and friending: NEORSD in social media

In the last year, the Sewer District has grown its social media presence to better serve its customers in Northeast Ohio. But how are we using the accounts and which ones have the news you need? Here's a quick overview:

Friday, January 14, 2011

Neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow, [but geez it's cold out here]...

Sewer System Maintenance & Operation crews transmit GPS coordinates of a sewer manhole location, collecting data for the Sewer District's geographic information system (GIS).

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Impending snow storm means higher flow at plants. Eventually.

Heavy rainstorms can cause local stream flooding and erosion problems, as well as cause some older sewers to exceed their capacities. But in winter months, do blizzards like the one we anticipate this evening induce the same water-related issues?

Monday, January 10, 2011

From the archives

Unidentified photo from NEORSD archives, circa 1909

Friday, January 7, 2011

Director Ciaccia responds to alleged link to road-salt scam

From Executive Director Julius Ciaccia | Today, an article appeared in The Plain Dealer about allegations of bid-rigging in the salt industry that cost the State of Ohio and municipalities millions. Several radio stations already picked up the story, and I'm sure TV will as well.

If you read the story or heard it on the radio, you have found that my name has been associated with the allegations. Let me set out a few points about this story as it relates to me and the Sewer District. They are as follows:

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Question: Which utilities make your "Like" list?

The Sewer District has two Twitter accounts, this blog, a YouTube channel, and is building a Facebook presence as well to better communicate with customers. As customers, Northeast Ohioans, or otherwise interested citizens, does a utility or service provider like us need a robust social-media presence? Do you follow, share, "Like" or RT posts from other utilities like the Water Department or Cleveland Public Power? and how might the Sewer District take advantage of these platforms to improve its communication efforts?