NEWS: Fish kill investigation benefits from Sewer District’s first-responders
|Senior Investigator Seth Hothem tests water quality near the fish-kill scene April 25.
The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District is pleased that the grand jury returned indictments against Renato and Teresina Montorsi for allegedly dumping toxic cyanide into a storm sewer, deliberately poisoning tens of thousands of fish last April. This intentional act is a clear infringement of the Clean Water Act.
In Thursday’s story, Grafton couple accused of causing fish kill, the good work performed by local, state and federal agencies was highlighted. Unfortunately, the Sewer District’s exceptional performance was overlooked at the press conference: our employees played a key role in this investigation.
Our employees were among the first investigators on the scene. During the critical first hours, our field investigators collected water samples from the East Branch of the Rocky River and its tributaries. Our laboratory staff quickly and expertly analyzed samples collected by our staff and Cleveland Metroparks rangers.
In addition, Sewer District staff inspected ponds and tributaries in the area; assessed the condition of aquatic macroinvertebrates; shared maps of the area with Ohio EPA staff; inspected local facilities to determine the direction of flow within the storm sewer system; and eliminated potential sources of the fish kill. Our crews dye-traced the storm sewers (seen in the image below) running from Kennedy Mint to the Rocky River tributary.
|DYE TESTING: Sewer District investigators used environmentally safe colored dye to identify storm sewers discharging to the stream.
The Sewer District takes great pride in the work we do on the public’s behalf, and this is an example of our customers’ dollars at work. The hard work and dedication of our employees deserve recognition for the role they are playing to keep our Great Lake great.
Submitted by Mike Bucci, Deputy Executive Director, Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District