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The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District Director of Engineering Charles J. Vasulka presented the Report on Power Failure Analysis to the Board of Trustees at June 17th, 2004 Board meeting. The report is in response to last August's massive power failure that affected not only the Greater Cleveland area, including all District facilities, but the entire northeastern region of the United States.

Although District personnel took appropriate actions to limit the power failure's impact, and in general, most equipment operated as planned, District treatment plants were forced to release 57 million gallons of partially treated wastewater into Lake Erie.

The report, which resulted from several workshops, identifies specific problems the power failure caused, recommends and evaluates solutions, and presents cost estimates. The District made three major decisions based on the evaluation: to provide a flexible system for each wastewater treatment plant, provide immediate protection against potential flooding, and provide sufficient standby power at each facility to sustain secondary treatment and disinfection of effluent.

Over 120 specific potential improvements were assigned a priority level. Out of all the improvements, the District has already completed or is in the process of completing 44 items. According to the schedule, the District can install first level priority standby generators at Southerly Wastewater Treatment Plant within approximately twelve months, and all of the large emergency generators within approximately nineteen months.

The total estimated cost for the first three priority level recommendations is $24 million. Noted Board President Michael L. Nelson, "The power failure put us in a very precarious position. And although $24 million is a lot of money, that level of investment is required to protect the public's health and the environment."

For additional information, please contact the District Administration at 216-881-6600.