10 years down, plus a new deal done.

Project Clean Lake has spent the last decade underground where we have led and learned — and now, changed for the better.

Construction Supervisor Karrie Buxton walks in the under-construction Doan Valley Tunnel project.
The bottom of the main Doan Valley Tunnel construction access shaft, looking up 200 feet towards the surface.

Flexibility during the design process

The original language in the 2010 consent decree included precisely how the Sewer District was required to construct projects throughout the 25-year construction schedule — detailed even to the point of specifying technology and techniques that have advanced with better information since then.

  • Eliminating additional pollution that could have resulted from using today’s technology standards and information to construct future projects.
  • Using up-to-date technology and information allows us to design and construct projects that will capture and treat more combined flow.

Eliminate unnecessary construction at Southerly plant

In 2010, the Sewer District was required to add an additional treatment process at Southerly called parallel treatment. Parallel treatment would have made the treatment process at the plant unnecessarily challenging — and more expensive, to the tune of $50 million just to build. What’s the benefit of striking this plan from the revised agreement?

  • Saves annual operations and maintenance costs.
  • An even higher quality of cleaned water will return from the plant to the Cuyahoga River.

Eliminate unnecessary construction at Westerly plant

Under the original 2010 consent decree, the Sewer District was required to build additional infrastructure at Westerly, but it became clear there was no environmental benefit. Under the modification, the requirement to build this new infrastructure was eliminated. That makes a difference:

  • Same high level of environmental protection through its existing treatment process.
Southerly Wastewater Treatment Center in Cuyahoga Heights.

10 years at a glance: Project Clean Lake since 2010

The consent decree, a legal agreement between the US EPA, DOJ, State of Ohio, and the Sewer District outlining the plan to reduce combined sewer overflows, was initially approved by the Sewer District Board of Trustees in December 2010 and became official in July 2011.

Official Medium channel of the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District in Cleveland, OH

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