Sewage Overflow at Edgewater Beach Flows Into Lake Erie

WTAM Breaking News

Cleveland – Early on Wednesday, the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District posted a public advisory at Edgewater Beach; the advisory was posted as a result of a combined sewer overflow (CSO) event at the beach at approximately 8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 28. This was confirmed by the Sewer District’s Sewer System Maintenance and Operations crew at 10:52 p.m. Tuesday.

This overflow discharged a combination of raw sewage and stormwater into Lake Erie during last night’s heavy rain event. Visitors (particularly children, the elderly and those in ill health) are advised to avoid contact with the water and debris.

142,600 gallons (0.1426 MG) was discharged into the environment; the event lasted approximately 15 minutes. The Sewer District’s Water Quality and Industrial Surveillance Department has posted signs at Edgewater Beach advising beachgoers to avoid contact with the water. The beach’s water quality predictions are posted as “Poor” today.

“Our region has experienced many strong storms in recent years, an ongoing trend that we will see more of in the future,” said Director of Watershed Programs Frank Greenland. “CSOs, along with flooding and streambank erosion, all impact water quality throughout our region. Fortunately, the Sewer District is developing a regional solution to manage these sizeable issues and protect our region’s greatest natural resource: Lake Erie.”

Throughout the mid-1970s, the combined sewer outfall at Edgewater Beach discharged raw sewage into Lake Erie approximately 40 to 50 times per year. However, because of the Sewer District’s improvements to aging infrastructure, the Edgewater combined sewer overflow discharges have significantly decreased. The last Edgewater discharge (during recreation season) was August 6, 2018.

Project Clean Lake – the Sewer District’s 25-year, $3 billion capital improvement plan – will reduce combined sewage entering Lake Erie and other area waterways. In addition to increased capacity at the Sewer District’s three wastewater treatment plants, Project Clean Lake will include the construction of large storage tunnels designed to capture combined sewage and convey it to a treatment plant for full treatment. The Sewer District currently has two tunnels in operation: Euclid Creek Tunnel’s flows are treated at the Easterly Wastewater Treatment Plant and Mill Creek Tunnel’s flows are treated at the Southerly Wastewater Treatment Plant. Three additional tunnels – Dugway Storage Tunnel, Dean Valley Tunnel and Westerly Storage Tunnel – are currently under construction.

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