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Water quality concerns persist at Edgewater Beach as thousands arrive for triathlon

Posted: 11:24 AM, Aug 09, 2019
Updated: 2019-08-09 11:24:53-04

CLEVELAND — About 5,000 athletes and even more spectators have made their way to Cleveland for the Toyota USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships at Edgewater Park.

Though, some are concerned about the water quality at the park. The downpour of rain the region received on Tuesday afternoon caused raw sewage overflow into the water.

The sewage created higher levels of bacteria in the water, which prompted officials to close the beach to swimming until late Thursday evening. The E. Coli levels were not safe for anyone too swim.

On Thursday the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District told News 5 the water quality is now “okay." But Friday morning, officials were seen taking water samples. Shortly after, the NEORSD's Beach Reports account tweeted that the water quality at Edgewater was poor.

This is not the first time raw sewage seeped into Lake Erie.

While these overflows happened 40 to 50 times a year back in the 1970s, the Sewer District’s improvements to aging infrastructure has caused overflow discharges to decease significantly. The last such discharge during recreation season was on May 28, 2019.

As for the USA Triathlon, all of the events are scheduled to proceed as planned. Triathlon officials are working with Cleveland Metroparks and the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District to monitor the situation.