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Thursday, January 31, 2013

#RAINMATTERS: Special workshop will welcome local TV weather personalities

This afternoon, we've invited local TV meteorologists to join us for a #RainMatters workshop.

Chances of a stormwater education? 100 percent.

With the help of WKYC Chief Meteorologist Betsy Kling, the Sewer District designed a workshop to present the history of and relationship between sewers and the regional stormwater system. The workshop is worth continuing-education credits offered by the American Meteorological Society and National Weather Association.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

SLIDESHARE: How and why @neorsd got social

Why is the Sewer District using social media? Because you are.

That's the simple answer we've offered before, but we recently presented these slides at a professionals networking event. It gives the past, present, and future of social media's role in our communication efforts, and even includes a few cautionary tales for social-media newcomers. You may want to view the full-screen version on Slideshare that includes the captions and content links.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

NEWS: Happy birthday to loo, Crapper's invention celebrates its 150th

Here's one birthday that's a total crapper. Thomas J. Crapper, actually.

January 13 marked the 150th birthday of plumber Thomas J. Crapper's invention, a one-piece pedestal for a flushing toilet that would revolutionize their operation—and sanitation in general.

The Independent blogged about the birthday last week:
...thanks to Thomas Crapper and his inventions, toilets are not only vastly more pleasant, but they play an important role in ensuring that our homes and public places are far better sanitized, limiting the spread of diseases.
The story also cited a WaterAid statistic that two-fifths of the world's population does not have access to a toilet, and one of every six people in the world does not have access to clean water.

It's a stat we can take for granted living on a Great Lake, but the work it takes to clean the water we flush is very important to our personal and environmental health.

So happy belated birthday to the Crapper creation. It's something most of us will visit more than 2,500 times in our lives. Doesn't it deserve at least a bit of appreciation?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

PHOTO: Salty sewers? Winter's residue builds up beneath the streets

Snow on the roads this morning makes traveling treacherous, but what's going on below the surface?

Our Sewer System Maintenance and Operation crews inspect sewers all year round, and during periods of road salting and deicing, the calcium deposits in sewers can build up quickly. In the above photo from 2009, calcium build-up in this sewer—along I-490 near West 17th Street, an area we inspected upon request—posed a big risk for potential blockages and back-ups.

Our crews remove these deposits, and preventative-maintenance schedules allow us to routinely inspect problem areas to manage them throughout the winter. A deposit of this size is very rare.

If salt deposits are affecting the flow in sewers, it's also affecting the water quality reaching our treatment plants. Our plant operators know what to expect and adjust our treatment processes accordingly during the winter season.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

STORMWATER: Top 3 "Hey, you forgot this!" credit app errors

As stormwater fee credit applications continue to flow in, we've noticed a few areas where customers have overlooked requirements in order for us to process their applications properly.

If you are submitting a credit application, don't miss these three most common oversights:

NEWS: Cleveland Heights and Berea customers, your stormwater bill and sewer/water bills are separate

If you are a customer living in Cleveland Heights or Berea, you will need to pay your 2013 stormwater bill separate from your cities' water and sewer bills. Here's why.

As Sewer District customers in our stormwater service area, you will receive a bill for the new stormwater fee starting in 2013. This new fee supports our Regional Stormwater Management Program, which will reduce flooding, decrease erosion, and improve water quality.

The stormwater fee will appear on a new stormwater bill directly from the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District; it will not be included with any other water or sewer bills you may receive from your city. Be advised that when you receive your stormwater bill from the Sewer District, please pay it separately from your current water and sewer bill from your city.

At this point, the Sewer District only accepts checks and money orders, payable to the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District (or NEORSD).

P.O. Box 94550
Cleveland, Ohio 44101

If you have questions or concerns, email us at, call Customer Service at (216) 881-8247, or tweet us @neorsd.

Photo: morguefile/xandert

Friday, January 4, 2013

FOCUS > Stormwater management vs. sewage treatment: What's the diff?

As our customers begin seeing a "stormwater" line item along with their standard "sewage" charge on bills this year, we've been asked why a separate fee is necessary for the stormwater management program.

The answer comes down to understanding the difference between sewage treatment and stormwater management.

The Water Environment Federation posted a link to a useful PDF document that summarizes 10 key differences between the two, including why the problems, solutions, and billing mechanisms are different. As they summarized:
Wastewater organizations face unforeseen issues when taking over stormwater programs, many stemming from the fact that, while stormwater seems similar to wastewater, it is actually very different in significant but unappreciated ways.