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TWEET: “We’re not that bad.” And getting better.

Our @WallyWaterdrop came across this tweet from Ohio Problems @Ohio_Probs late yesterday. It’s still getting RT’d today. In typical “Only In Cleveland” fashion, even Wally had a chuckle at this, but the sewage issue caught our attention.

While our work can’t improve our baseball team’s standings or locals’ dietary choices, the sewage issue is one we are taking off the #OhioProbs list slowly but surely.

In three days of superstorm Sandy, our three treatment plants treated more than 4.4 billion gallons of combined stormwater and sewage. Due to the kind of old sewer system under our feet—known as a combined sewer system—some of the flow discharges to local waterways like the Cuyahoga River and Mill Creek. Like this:

In the 1970s, more than 9 billion gallons of this combined sewer overflow reached our waterways every year. Since then, we’ve cut it in half to about 4.5 billion gallons annually. Much better, but sill a problem.

Over the next 25 years, we’ll bring that volume down to less than 500 million gallons through our Project Clean Lake program.

Maybe this info will address some of @Ohio_Probs concern for education, as well. 😉 We can laugh at a “burning river” joke as much as the next Northeast Ohioan, but that river has come a long way and so has Cleveland. We’re proud to be a part of the problem-solving.