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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

WATER: It's called the "cycle" for a reason, right?

Drought conditions in Texas have led the El Paso Water Utilities head to speak the unspeakable: the idea of [cue dramatic music] "direct potable water reuse." In many media circles, it's referred to as water recycling, or "toilet to tap."

The National Association of Clean Water Agencies shared the link, and it followed a related recent tweet by author and speaker Rose George:

The truth is, she's right.

Monday, April 29, 2013

PICS: Earth Day Coalition's #EarthFest13 recap

Great weather, great cause, and a great venue came together for this year's EarthFest presented by Earth Day Coalition, an annual celebration of the environment and sustainability.

The Sewer District was proud to sponsor the event, highlighting our water-quality work and green-infrastructure investments. Here are just some of the day's festivities.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

GREEN: Paving the way, but with less pavement

Consider it a two-for-one deal.

One of our latest green projects is nearing completion in University Circle, a Courtyard by Marriott parking lot that will reduce stormwater runoff and cut sewer contributions by more than one million gallons per year.

The work is a Project Clean Lake green-infrastructure project because it will reduce combined sewer overflows to nearby Doan Brook and reduce runoff from more than one acre of hard surfaces—the hotel rooftop and the parking lot.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

#PitchThosePills: Dispose of unused meds safely this Saturday

If you flush your old drugs, there's a better and safer way to get rid of them.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has scheduled another National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day which will take place on Saturday, April 27, 2013, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. This is a great opportunity for residents with unwanted, outdated, or unused prescription drugs to safely dispose of those medications.

Our Environmental & Maintenance Services Center in Cuyahoga Heights will host a drop-off during those hours.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

VIDEO: Stunning footage! No seriously, it's footage of us stunning.

Those who fish for sport might consider this cheating. For us, it's science.

One of the exhibits we'll have on display at Earth Day Coalition's EarthFest 2013 at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds this Sunday will be our electrofishing boat. It's a craft we use to stun fish with a jolt of electricity:

Why? As we said, it's for science. We stun the fish in order to collect and study them. Their condition and the variety of species we find in the Cuyahoga River help us determine water quality improvements over time.

SUPER: Who are your heroes? (Cape not required)

It's a week of heroes, across America and here in Northeast Ohio.

Sure, today marks Superman's 75th birthday, and Cleveland—where co-creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster gave life to the Man of Steel—has marked the week with #SuperCle photos and stories from across the region and an official Superman Day commemoration this afternoon. Cleveland is also preparing for the return of Captain America as filming details emerged yesterday.

But most importantly, in countless acts amidst tragedies this week, some of the biggest heroes are those without capes or costumes. From Boston to Texas, first-responders continue to exhibit the best of humanity no comic book or silver screen could ever capture. Most of them may never even have their stories told at all, instead remaining known only by the lives they touched.

Everyone loves heroes. From saving animals to preventing disaster, we love sharing inspiring acts performed by our own employees and they resonate with us. All stories of heroism do. Our hats are off to the heroes sung and unsung this week from all across our country.

At home, at work, in your family or neighborhood, who have been your heroes?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

GREEN: #neorsdREF will be a clean, green, sustainability machine

Incinerating with sustainability in mind? Yes, you read that correctly.

The Sewer District is nearing completion on its LEED-certified Renewable Energy Facility (or REF), the future energy-generating home of three new incinerators that will burn biosolids more efficiently with less resources. The new REF will be up and running later this summer, and we'll feature the project at this Sunday's EarthFest presented by Earth Day Coalition at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Friday, April 5, 2013

EVENT: Our trucks suck, and that's how we like them.

These crews have the suckiest jobs on our team. At least the suckiest trucks.

When it comes to sewer blockages and cleanouts, our Sewer System Maintenance and Operation crews use these huge vacuum trucks—called jet vacs—to get the job done.

You may have seen ones like it around your neighborhood or even at our Open House if you've been there before, but you'll have another chance this Sunday to see one up close. Our team will have one at the YMCA Healthy Kids Day April 7 at Quicken Loans Arena.

So stop by the fire trucks, safety equipment, and more from Cleveland Public Safety and friends, and be sure to head over to the jet vacs for some good clean fun with the crews that have a very dirty job.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

STORMWATER: Houses of the holey? Pervious pavement, other options might be right for your home.

When it comes to reducing runoff, you might want to consider a hole new direction.

Customers in our service area are getting their first look at their property's stormwater charges, and we've received many calls from customers wondering how they can reduce their fees.

It all comes down to reducing stormwater runoff on your property. And if you are looking to make property improvements this spring, stormwater-control measures—rain barrels, rain gardens, filter strips, or reduction of impervious surface—may be worth considering. Today's topic: Pervious pavement.

Pervious pavements are designed to allow percolation or infiltration of stormwater through tiny holes or separations in the surface into the soil below where the water is naturally filtered and pollutants are removed.

Why consider it? Because our program fee is based on the area of impervious surface on a customer's property (hard surfaces contribute to regional stream problems associated with runoff), replacing impervious surface with pervious surface reduces runoff as a means of managing stormwater. The credit can help you reduce your fee and save you money in the long run.

Monday, April 1, 2013

EVENT: Pollution Appreciation Day celebrates the treasure that is trash

In what could be out biggest announcement in years, we are proud to announce our support of Pollution Appreciation Day, an effort to raise awareness of the benefits of pollution in every day life.

Today is the first celebration of this new annual campaign, an effort that was inspired by the success of World Water Day March 22.

"Think of the investments the Sewer District is making in clean water," said Pollution Appreciation Day spokesperson Walter Forgranted. "No matter how much they clean, it's still going to get dirty. Polluted runoff, stream bank erosion, combined sewer overflows, they all keep the pollution coming. Wouldn't that money be better invested somewhere else? Just think of the children."

Our event calendar is overflowing today. Our Reignite the River kick-off will bring flames back to the Cuyahoga the likes of which haven't been seen since 1969. Our Invasive Species Petting Zoo will be great for kids of all ages, and the Algae Bloom Relay will feature teams competing in a polar plunge in some of the greenest lake water you've ever seen.

The Sewer District takes pollution very seriously. More seriously than you should ever take this post. Happy April Fools' Day.