Lake Erie - 2.2 billion gallons of untreated Sewage dumped annually : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

In December 1999, our government issued an advisory that an estimated 50,000 sewage treatment plants were non y2k compliant.

Over the last few years, Ohio news media has bragged about cleanup efforts improving the quality of water in Lake Erie. According to this report, a major sewage problem still infects the waters. We're told that 1/4 of the sewage comes from one pipeline. What about the other 3/4's of the problem?....


Sewer system dumping untreated water into Lake Erie

The Associated Press

02/21/00 11:08 PM Eastern CLEVELAND (AP) -- Sewers are dumping more than 2.2 billion gallons of rainwater, industrial waste and human excrement into Lake Erie annually, according to a recently completed study.

The untreated sewage water poses health risks, according to the study, which took two years and cost $8.8 million. Water samples taken from sewer pipes that empty directly into Lake Erie, the Cuyahoga River and several creeks showed high levels of a fecal-borne bacteria that can cause diarrhea, nausea, abdominal cramps and other ailments.

The study also found that more than a quarter of the raw wastewater pours from one source: a pipe about a mile east of Euclid Beach and Wildwood state parks.

The study examined sewers in a northeastern quadrant of Cuyahoga County that covers Cleveland and all or parts of Bratenahl, East Cleveland, Cleveland Heights and Shaker Heights, said Betsy Yingling, a project manager with the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District.

The sewer district is proposing a fix that probably will cost more than $100 million and take at least 15 years to complete, Yingling told The Plain Dealer for a story Monday.

Planners will create a method to divert nearly all of the wastewater into the Easterly Sewage Treatment Plant, where it will be cleaned and then pumped into Lake Erie.

It is one of five projects the sewer district will undertake over the next two decades to correct a pollution problem that has fouled Lake Erie and the Cuyahoga River for more than a century, said Frank Greenland, a project manager with the sewer district.

Sewage contributes to elevated bacteria levels in the river, creeks and along Lake Erie's beaches, said Lester Stumpe, a manager with the sewer district.

For example, health officials posted signs at Euclid Beach 63 days last year between Memorial Day and Labor Day, warning swimmers of unsafe bacteria levels, said Steve Binns of the Ohio Department of Health. The same signs were posted 33 days in 1998, he said.

The district expects eventually to raise rates to pay for the pollution-control projects.

Yingling and other sewer district officials have planned three public hearings this week to discuss the study's findings.

Source: Cleveland Live News Flash; Cleveland, Ohio

-- Lee Maloney (, February 22, 2000

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