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Friday, July 27, 2012

HISTORY: 40-year anniversary, 100+ years of history?

Expansion of our Easterly Wastewater Treatment Plant. April 5, 1932.
Our history predates our creation. Make sense?

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the creation of the Cleveland Regional Sewer District, which would later be renamed the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District. But that doesn't mean the area's wastewater treatment efforts began in 1972. They began decades before.

Our three wastewater treatment plants—Easterly and Westerly in Cleveland, and Southerly in Cuyahoga Heights—were originally built by the City of Cleveland, and all date back to the early 1900s: Easterly began screening wastewater in 1908, Westerly in 1919, and Southerly in 1928.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

LEARNING: It all starts with students.

Sewer District summer students team up with
Naturehood to build a neighborhood garden.
From elementary school to college, the Sewer District takes opportunities to connect with students seriously.

While the efforts help introduce young people to the importance of clean water and how we keep it that way, they also promote career opportunities and a greater understanding of the many aspects of our industry that often are overlooked.

Technology, administration, public relations, biology, law, environmental education—all of these areas and more are essential to helping your Sewer District keep our Great Lake great, and our unique programs bring students closer to them every day.

This month, we released our 2012 Student Programs handbook, a resource profiling our 13 programs and how they are helping students and our employees. You can view or download copies below, or request a personal copy or more information by contacting us.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

UPDATES: Stormwater progress, Director's contract extended, Mackenzie moving forward

Three significant items were discussed at today's Board of Trustees meeting, all of which showed signs of big things to come.

Our regional stormwater management program language, known as Title V [opens PDF in a new window] was approved by Trustees with plans to implement the program beginning in 2013. This is following a 30-day public-comment period. Some of the most notable changes in our plan include increased cost-sharing for communities: 25% of all fees collected from the program will be returned to each community for local stormwater-related needs. We discussed this in recent Plain Dealer feature.

Executive Director Julius Ciaccia also had his contract extended through 2016. Trustees specifically drew attention to accomplishments such as progress in stormwater management, engineering practices improvements, and implementation of the 25-year Project Clean Lake consent decree.

Lastly, during our monthly project report, we heard that Mackenzie, our 300-foot-long tunnel boring machine will begin drilling by this time next month. Mackenzie is burrowing the 18,000-foot-long Euclid Creek Tunnel on Cleveland's east side, starting her journey in Bratenahl.

Monday, July 16, 2012

ARCHIVES: Drive-in was Southerly neighbor in 1960s

Image by Robert Frank, 1955.

Our student assistant Stephanie Harris uncovered a great bit of nostalgia recently when she included the phrase "drive-in theater" in a story about our Southerly wastewater treatment plant in Cuyahoga Heights.

That's right. Our current plant's footprint covers a space that used to be the Canal Road All-Weather Drive-In Theatre.

The theater opened in 1963, but photos of the locale were hard to come by. There was this one posted by ("the definitive resource for drive-in information") as seen below, perhaps from the 1970s.

The Sewer District took over the Southerly plant in 1972. While we're not sure when the theatre was closed (although one PDF reference included the date 1976), it was razed in 1979 during significant expansion and upgrades at Southerly, and the site is where the Effluent Building sits today.

Nice detective work, Stephanie.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

SUN & STORMS: Beaches, rain in the July 4 news

How were you planning to spend your holiday week? Recent stories in The Plain Dealer may have you reconsidering, but they are examples of the problems that have plagued Northeast Ohio for some time.

And they are problems we are addressing.

When it comes to beach water quality—a topic we spent time blogging about last week with some entertaining results—there are several factors involved: Combined sewer overflows, and polluted stormwater runoff.

Monday, July 2, 2012

STORMWATER: Program gets the green light, will begin January 2013

The Sewer District's regional stormwater management program has the green light.

On Thursday, Judge Thomas J. Pokorny issued a final ruling on the Sewer District's regional program to tackle Northeast Ohio’s flooding, erosion, and water quality problems.

The Sewer District will formally implement the Regional Stormwater Management Program in January 2013 and detailed planning for early-stage projects is already underway. The Regional Stormwater Management Program will address flooding, streambank erosion and water quality issues throughout much of Northeast Ohio.