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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

PHOTOS: 11 images of the underground wonders of unseen infrastructure

The underground is full of wonders to behold. But c'mon, don't break the law to behold them.

An art and architecture publisher recently printed a book featuring stunning photos of London's underground infrastructure. The catch, according to the editor, is that the photos were taken "without permission from anyone," which can pose a number of safety and legal issues.

While we don't advocate unauthorized sewer spelunking expeditions, we completely understand the intrigue of the hidden architectural wonders of a sewer system. The handiwork, the engineering, the labor involved, it really can be amazing.

Here are some of our favorite recent images showcasing these characteristics of our own system hidden below northeast Ohio. These images were taken by our employees or contractors.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

LOOK: See green infrastructure plans taking root in Cleveland neighborhoods

Visitors from across the country toured six green-infrastructure pilot projects across Cleveland this week as part of the second annual Green Infrastructure Summit held at Cleveland State University.

These sites featured a combination of small-scale demonstrations, green-infrastructure—components of Project Clean Lake to help reduce flow volumes in our combined-sewer area—and water resource restoration projects.

Friday, October 24, 2014

GREEN: Cleveland to host national green-infrastructure summit, showcase Project Clean Lake lessons, opportunities

Consider it a who's who of green infrastructure, and the summit's coming to Cleveland.

The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District welcomes the Second Community Summit on Green Infrastructure next week, also celebrating the completion of its first Project Clean Lake neighborhood green-infrastructure project.

The summit is jointly hosted by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Sewer District and Cleveland State University October 26-28, intending to foster better implementation of green infrastructure throughout the country.

As part of the summit, the Sewer District will hold a press conference Monday, October 27, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. at the project site located between Aetna Road and Union Avenue on E. 78th Street in Cleveland, celebrating the completion of the Green Ambassador Slavic Village Demonstration Project.

"This is an exciting day for the Sewer District and the Greater Cleveland community," said Julius Ciaccia, Executive Director of the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District. "This is the first green infrastructure project completed in a residential neighborhood under Project Clean Lake. It is also a perfect example of utilizing a mix of vacant and private property to address water quality issues."

Monday, October 6, 2014

WEIRD: Minnesota man faces charges after clogging toilets with pounds of nails

We have an entire list of things people shouldn't flush down the toilet. Looks like we need to add another one to it.

A St. Paul, Minnesota man is being charged with first-degree property damage after he was alleged to have dumped pounds of hardware-store nails down toilets in at least three different locations, causing thousands of dollars in damage.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

NEWS: Green commitment in Cleveland's Public Square renovation improves drainage, manages stormwater

UPDATE 2015 03/09: It all begins today. Roads closed officially at 6:00 a.m. this morning. This story took a closer look at some of the green-infrastructure components of the work that will take shape under and on the surface of the Cleveland Public Square renovation scheduled for completion in 2016.

On October 2, Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District Trustees approved a $3 million installment grant for the Public Square Renovation Project, a contribution that will increase the square's greenspace and sustainability.

"Public Square is the heart of Downtown Cleveland," said Julius Ciaccia, Executive Director of the Sewer District. "We’re excited to be able to connect our clean water work to the makeover of this historic, popular and heavily traveled area."

AWARDS: Cleveland Foundation grants will help advance job-development initiative, environmental improvements

The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District was awarded three grants totaling $135,000 from The Cleveland Foundation to help further programs and green opportunities in the region.

The funds will be used to enhance the Sewer District’s Good Neighbor Ambassador Program and the Doan Brook Stream Restoration Project. The grants are for:
  • Neighborhood Revitalization Projects, Good Neighbor Ambassador Program ($40,000)
  • Case Study, Good Neighbor Ambassador Program ($20,000)
  • Consultants, Doan Brook Stream Restoration Project ($75,000)

Good Neighbor Ambassador Program

Last May, the Sewer District launched the Good Neighbor Ambassador Program, a progressive one-of-a-kind job development initiative designed to provide outreach to customers who are impacted by Project Clean Lake construction. Project Clean Lake is the Sewer District’s $3 billion initiative to reduce combined sewer overflows from 4.5 billion gallons to 500 million gallons. The current construction activity is a series of projects located in the Glenville neighborhood of Cleveland.

The Ambassador program hires underemployed or unemployed individuals for 30 hours each week with benefits. Staffed by seven ambassadors and a supervisor, the part-time ambassadors are assigned community improvement tasks, such as cutting grass, passing out project notices and talking with residents about Project Clean Lake, while receiving extensive professional development training. This training includes soft skills, safety procedures, conflict resolution, wastewater overview, and an explanation of the Sewer District’s wide-ranging construction activities. The Sewer District assists with job placement within the organization, as well.

PROFILE: Good Neighbors, good work in the Glenville community

The first class of Good Neighbor Ambassadors (l to r): Brandon Hogan, Galen Adams, Anthony Body, Donnell Green, Dareus Hiley, Ciera Campbell, Tyronn Dunn, and Sircharles Williams

The goal of the Good Neighbor Outreach program is to connect the District with the communities it serves, and our Good Neighbor Ambassadors act as liaisons between the District, various community and business organizations, and the general public.

Made up of seven Ambassadors and Supervisor Anthony Body, the Good Neighbor team’s current focus is the Glenville neighborhood for the duration of Dugway Storage Tunnel construction as part of Project Clean Lake.

The Ambassadors keep Glenville residents up-to-date on what is happening in their neighborhood, distributing informational materials, answering questions, and addressing concerns about the District’s construction projects.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

TECH: Plant ops, sludge science among topics featured in 2014 tech journal "Clean Water Works"

Plant operations and the wastewater treatment process are the focus of our latest issue of Clean Water Works, an award-winning technical magazine covering subjects relevant to the water industry. View it below or open the publication in a new window.

RELATED: Don't miss our online-only Web Extras:

ENVIRONMENT: The facts about phosphorus, and why Lake Erie receives more nutrients than any other Great Lake

Fact: Lake Erie contains 2% of the Great Lakes' water—and 50% of their fish.

Great Lakes facts and figures underscore the reality that these water bodies are precious but fragile resources. Affected by many factors, the Sewer District and agencies like it constantly monitor Lake Erie and the streams replenishing it to ensure its health.

RELATED: This story is a Web Extra featured in our Clean Water Works technical journal (Fall 2014)

Nutrients are one contributor to Lake Erie's well-being, with one particular nutrient—phosphorus—making news this season as toxic algae has threatened some parts of its western basin. Here are some phosphorus-specific facts and figures to help tell the story of nutrients and what affects their impact on our Great Lake.

CAREERS: Training, development opportunities give employees a chance to grow and improve

One of the advantages to working at the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District is the opportunity to advance one’s career. The District offers two training programs for careers in Maintenance and Wastewater Plant Operation—through which District employees develop their proficiencies and reach their disciplines.

Maintenance Training has four different tracks for those pursuing a vocation as an Instrumentation Technician, Plant Maintenance Electrician, Systems Utility Maintenance Person, or Plant Utilities Maintenance Person at the Sewer District.

RELATED: This story is a Web Extra featured in our Clean Water Works technical journal (Fall 2014)

Interested employees enroll in a hands-on Talent Assessment Program (based on Automotive Manufacturing Technical Education Collaborative, or AMTEC standards) to determine their technical knowledge. Those who achieve a composite score of 75 or better qualify for the Maintenance Training program.

Successful applicants embark on a training regimen that includes 800 classroom hours (an equivalent of between 38 and 52 semester hours) of coursework provided by Cuyahoga Community College onsite at a District facility, plus 8,000 hours of on-the-job instruction over the course of four years, followed by  ongoing professional training that continuously enhance one’s skill set.