CLEVELAND — Heavy and consistent rainfall Wednesday morning caused yet another combination of raw sewage and stormwater to flow into Lake Erie.
As a result of the overflow discharge, the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District posted a public advisory at Edgewater Beach to advise visitors, particularly the children, elderly and those in ill health, to avoid contact with the water and debris.
In the mid-1970s, combined sewer outfall at Edgewater Beach discharged raw sewage into Lake Erie approximately 40 to 50 times per year. Since then, the NEORSD made some improvements to lessen overflow discharged.
“Our region has experienced many strong storms in recent years, an ongoing trend that we will see more of in the future,” said Director of Watershed Programs Frank Greenland in a news release. “CSOs (combined sewage overflows), along with flooding and streambank erosion, all impact water quality throughout our region. Fortunately, the Sewer District is developing a regional solution to manage these sizeable issues and protect our region’s greatest natural resource: Lake Erie.”
The last discharge into Lake Erie was Sept. 7.
The Project Clean Lake, with a price tag of $3 billion, will reduce combined sewage entering Lake Erie and other area waterways. This project also includes construction of large storage tunnels designed to capture combined sewage and convey it to a treatment plant for full treatment.