Your browser does not support JavaScript!

RADIO: I’m not sure we can use that in a headline.

The phrase “t_rd reduction” might be awkward in a headline, but it’s the way yesterday’s beach report and our efforts to monitor and improve water quality came up in drive-time talk radio yesterday. Hear for yourself:

WMMS’s Alan Cox Show spent a few segments on the topic yesterday afternoon. And while Lake Erie and its water quality are the punchline for easy jokes [insert burning-river humor here], we have reduced many pollution sources affecting our lake in the last 40 years.

Yet we are the first to admit we have a long way to go. There are many factors involved in the bacteria and pollution along the lakefront, and we’re tackling them.

In the clip above, Alan Cox’s last caller of that segment yesterday touched on some of the work we’re doing, and we love positive mentions. Especially when you cue sappy music in the background.

And whether the caller was an employee or not (hey, we encourage our NEORSD team to jump into these conversations), here are a few points to clarify.

The Sewer District is spending $3 billion over the next 25 years to reduce the amount of sewage discharging into the environment. One billion of those dollars will be invested by 2016.

That $1 billion figure includes almost $200 million to construct the Euclid Creek Tunnel, which will be complete in 2015. It’s about 225 feet underground, three miles long, and a bit over 20 feet in diameter (big enough to fit a semi truck). The tunnel will capture raw sewage before it makes its way to the environment. All the captured water will be treated at our Easterly Wastewater Treatment Plant in Cleveland.

Back in the early 1970s, about 9 billion gallons of raw sewage were discharged into the environment every year. Since then, we’ve cut the number in half. Currently, there are about 4.5 billion gallons of raw sewage that are discharged yearly, but over the next 25 years, that amount will be cut to 500 million gallons. (That’s the “reduction” Alan Cox was looking for.)