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2010: From stormwater to sewage and everything in between

The last 12 months have been filled with clean-water progress and projects that affect every one of our customers and one million Northeast Ohio residents. Here are just a few of our 2010 accomplishments:

Trustees unanimously adopt stormwater program

The year began with Trustees adopting the District’s stormwater management program by a 7-0 vote. Executive Director Julius Ciaccia called this a “progressive step in protecting our clean water environment.” Immediately following the meeting, the Sewer District filed a motion for declaratory judgment with the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas to reaffirm the District’s authority to manage stormwater within the existing service area, and the program remains in court today.

Trustees approve Project Clean Lake, 25-year plan to control sewage discharges

By a vote of 5-2, Trustees approved the language in an agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency known as a consent decree. The agreement outlines a 25-year plan to control and reduce raw sewage discharges to the environment, a plan we have named Project Clean Lake. Executive Director Julius Ciaccia signed the consent decree December 15, but four other parties on the Federal and State levels must also sign before the decree is lodged in Federal Court and opened for public comment.

Small biz program certifies 800+ vendors

More than 800 vendors have registered with the Sewer District’s Small Business Enterprise (SBE) program since it began in June of 2009. Based on the results of the District’s 2010 disparity study, the District is developing a Minority- and Women-owned Business Enterprise program, in addition to the SBE program, which should be completed in the first half of 2011.

Renewable Energy Facility construction continues, sustainability is key

Three incinerator shells, heat exchangers, and a whole lot of steel have been erected at the Southerly Wastewater Treatment Plant in 2010. Fluidized bed incinerators will replace aging multiple hearth incinerators, and the result in 2013 will be a $151 million facility that generates a quarter of the entire plant’s electricity by capturing the excess heat in the exhaust gases. The heat will produce steam which spins a turbine to generate power. It’s cleaner, more efficient, and conserves resources.

Euclid Creek Tunnel project contract awarded

This 18,000-foot long $198 million tunnel contract, the first under Project Clean Lake, was awarded December 2. Upon completion in 2015, it will store approximately 60 million gallons of combined wastewater for proper treatment at the Easterly Wastewater Treatment Plant.

PUP program encourages dog owners to pick up poop

What does dog doo have to do with clean water? Pet waste can infect ground water and stormwater which flows to local streams, which is why it’s important to pick up poop. The District launched a Pick Up Poop! (PUP) campaign to educate residents about the courtesy and environmental importance of picking up after their pets. The campaign recently won a national award from the National Association of Clean Water Agencies.

Westerly plant installs new more-efficient tanks

The installation of the new sodium hypochlorite tanks, pumps, piping and controls were completed prior to the start of the 2010 disinfection season. As a result of the new system and attention to detail by the operators, the Westerly Wastewater Treatment Plant has seen a 45% reduction in chemical usage from the previous four years.