Stay connected. Subscribe today.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

NEWS: Wastewater treatment plants operating at capacity, fully treating flows triple the average

SUMMARY: Nearly 1.5 billion gallons of sewage receiving full or partial treatment in last 24 hours; 75-million gallon Mill Creek Tunnel filled; CSOs discharging into environment; plants partially treating bypassing flow.

UPDATE 2012 11/01: WKYC visited our Southerly plant yesterday afternoon to feature the plant staff's efforts to manage the enormous volume of flow. Here's the story.

The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District’s three wastewater treatment plants (“Easterly” and “Westerly” in Cleveland, “Southerly” in Cuyahoga Heights) are fully treating flows more than triple the average daily flow. In the last 24 hours, the three wastewater treatment plants fully treated 800 million gallons of wastewater. In addition, another 660 million gallons received primary treatment (solids removal) before being discharged into the environment.

The Sewer District’s 230 miles of interceptor sewers—large sewers that transport sewage to the plants—are transporting additional sewage for treatment. In addition, the Mill Creek Tunnel, capable of holding 75 million gallons of combined sewage, is filled to capacity. Lastly, locally-owned sanitary sewers contain flow as well. There is a tremendous amount of wastewater awaiting treatment.

Although a great deal of sewage is being treated or stored for future treatment, some flow is being discharged into the environment. Combined sewer overflows (CSOs) discharge a mixture of sanitary sewage and stormwater at 126 points throughout the Sewer District’s service area; many of these points have overflowed due to Hurricane Sandy (see photo and video below of CSO along Mill Creek).

Monday, October 29, 2012

#SANDY: Treatment plants prepared for Hurricane Sandy’s impact

A wastewater treatment plant operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District’s three wastewater treatment plants are prepared for Hurricane Sandy’s impacts, anticipating heavy rains throughout Wednesday and increased wastewater flow volumes 24 hours after the rain subsides.

The Sewer District has increased staffing at the facilities in anticipation of higher-than-average flow. All facilities are equipped with emergency generators, and emergency contracts have been activated to ensure generator service throughout the storm. In addition, overnight maintenance crews have been deployed to address problems within the collection system including blockages.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

LIST: Top 4 #h2olloween costume ideas

It's just a week away, and if you're still looking for the Halloween costume that is both trendy and timeless, we have a few ideas for you.

AHHHH! Who wouldn't be scared seeing stormwater drains and culverts clogged with massive amounts of hideous debris? Grab old branches, leaves, bricks and other stream debris to make your own costume. Might want to jump on this one soon, because inspection, clean-up and maintenance is a big part of our Regional Stormwater Management Program in 2013.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

NEWS: Arrest made following suspicious call to Sewer District

Authorities determined the call was placed by an employee of a company working on the Renewable Energy Facility project at our Southerly Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Today, the Cuyahoga Heights Police Department arrested Joshua Petro. The arrest stems from a suspicious call made to the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District's Southerly Wastewater Treatment Plant on Monday, October 22, 2012. Another unnamed Sewer District plant was mentioned in the call, as well. Charges are pending.

Yesterday, at 6:48am, a security officer at Southerly received a phone call allegedly from Petro who indicated that "something would happen at the Southerly Plant and your other plant." The exact type of action to be taken against the plants was not defined in the phone call, nor was the "other plant" identity—Westerly or Easterly—clear.

"Our first concern was to assure that employees, contractors, vendors and visitors were safe," stated Julius Ciaccia, Sewer District Executive Director. "We were able to determine early on in the investigation that safety was not jeopardized."

Thursday, October 11, 2012

NEWS: Fish kill investigation benefits from Sewer District's first-responders

Senior Investigator Seth Hothem tests water quality near the fish-kill scene April 25.
The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District is pleased that the grand jury returned indictments against Renato and Teresina Montorsi for allegedly dumping toxic cyanide into a storm sewer, deliberately poisoning tens of thousands of fish last April. This intentional act is a clear infringement of the Clean Water Act.

In Thursday’s story, Grafton couple accused of causing fish kill, the good work performed by local, state and federal agencies was highlighted. Unfortunately, the Sewer District’s exceptional performance was overlooked at the press conference: our employees played a key role in this investigation.

Our employees were among the first investigators on the scene. During the critical first hours, our field investigators collected water samples from the East Branch of the Rocky River and its tributaries. Our laboratory staff quickly and expertly analyzed samples collected by our staff and Cleveland Metroparks rangers.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

20 WAYS: Going green well beyond clean

Sure, we've been recycling water since before recycling was cool, but in our line of work, don't we have expectations to do even more when it comes to sustainability?

We do. And we are.