How federal support can help advance the affordable clean water cause at this critical time

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Customers need help. Water needs protection. Systems need work and maintenance.

Whether you’re a utility or a resident paying their bills, these three realities are common ground. But how we address those needs comes down to decisions, debates, and ultimately dollars.

Which is why we have long advocated for federal dollars to be part of the solution. Today, we believe it is critical.

At the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, our mission meets those three critical local needs: serving customers by protecting their water resources through the sound management of the complex infrastructure of sewers and wastewater treatment plants, and…

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

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Construction Supervisor Karrie Buxton walks in the under-construction Doan Valley Tunnel project.

Traditional anniversaries commemorate 10 years with metal. Modern conventions honor it with diamonds.

We’re marking this particular 10-year anniversary with concrete, greenery, and now, pen to paper.

On Thursday, December 3, we approved a joint agreement with state and federal agencies to amend our Project Clean Lake pollution-control program in this its tenth year, a modification that will enhance plant operations, improve water quality, and save customers money in the long run.

The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District Board of Trustees approved the agreement with the US Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Justice and the State of Ohio to modify…

1,500 pairs of uniform pants donated to three local shelters in an effort of service, sustainability

two men bundled in winter coats empty large boxes from the back of a delivery van as a Sewer District employee delivers donations on a cold February morning.
two men bundled in winter coats empty large boxes from the back of a delivery van as a Sewer District employee delivers donations on a cold February morning.
Eight boxes of men’s pants were dropped off at the City Mission, the first of three local shelters to receive apparel donations from our previous uniform contract.

When a large batch of men’s apparel remained in good condition at the end of our previous uniform contract, our Operations & Maintenance Procurement Administrator Delilah Capeles knew quality durable garments deserved extended use — and could serve a better purpose than disposal.

Following Board of Trustees approval to donate used inventory January 7, Delilah set out to find partners able to receive and distribute the garments to those who need them most. Beginning February 8, our stockroom staff personally delivered shipments to three local agencies: The City Mission, St. Herman’s House, and Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry.

“The vast majority of…

Why mining a two-mile-long sewer tunnel matters to the future of Lake Erie

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The Westerly Storage Tunnel under construction, 2019 @neorsd file photo.

Our list of “Project Clean Lake achievements” keeps getting longer as our Westerly Storage Tunnel project met a major milestone this month.

The tunnel boring machine reached the end of its two-mile journey January 6, breaking through the shale of its receiving shaft in the overnight hours and signaling the end of the project’s mining work.

The Westerly Storage Tunnel is the latest tunnel project of of seven included in Project Clean Lake, a 25-year endeavor to reduce combined sewer overflow volume by 4 billion gallons a year.

In a typical year once the tunnel system goes online in…

Our 2021 sewer rate changes take effect January 1, the final year of our current five-year rate schedule.

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The increase is about $6 per MCF (1,000 cubic feet of water used) with a $2 increase in the base rate. Customers who qualify for our reduced Homestead or Affordability rates will see an increase of about $3 per MCF.

Our regional stormwater management fee remains unchanged for 2021. The complete five-year schedule can be found on our Customer Service page.

In a year of challenges, we understand how rate changes affect customers. We continue to offer cost-saving programs including crisis assistance, plumbing assistance, and Affordability and Homestead discounts. You can see how to apply and whether you qualify at

We are conducting a study to determine the rate schedule for the years 2022–2026.

Infrastructure is everywhere. How we serve is about making our systems, relationships, and futures better together.

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United for Infrastructure 2020 September 14–21 is a week of events focusing attention on the critical role of infrastructure in Americans’ daily lives. From roads and bridges to airports and plumbing, constructed systems keep our country functioning, and their future relies on proper maintenance, strategy, and investment as reflected in this year’s theme #RebuildBetter.

This year, as we raise awareness of our own opportunities to “rebuild better,” we focus on three key areas:

Rebuild systems better.

Ten years into our Project Clean Lake combined sewer control efforts, we have already reduced annual CSOs by 1 billion gallons. System improvements and green infrastructure are…

Samples from our treatment plants among other Ohio utilities’ being analyzed for potential to track future COVID outbreaks

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Beginning in May, we explored a potential partnership with the US Environmental Protection Agency to provide influent samples from our treatment plants as part of a COVID-19 pilot study.

That partnership is now a reality.

A partnership of EPA, Ohio EPA, Ohio Department of Health, and the Ohio Water Resource Center are monitoring utilities’ influent samples — including ours — to study viral genetic material in wastewater and its potential to serve as an indicator of emerging COVID-19 in communities.

A few important related notes:

  • This study is not looking at viability or transmission of COVID-19 in wastewater.
  • The weekly…

15,000-foot Dugway Storage Tunnel completion is latest Project Clean Lake milestone

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A final adjusting change order on the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District’s Dugway Storage Tunnel June 18 closed the project contract more than $4.6 million under budget, a result of outstanding management and a sign of more Lake Erie water quality improvements to come.

The Dugway Storage Tunnel, originally a $153 million project, is the second in a series of seven storage tunnels constructed as a part of Project Clean Lake, the Sewer District’s 25-year, $3 billion program to drastically reduce the volume of combined sewer overflow entering local waterways during heavy rain events.

The DST is the third tunnel…

Construction obligations, possible revenue loss expected to impact customers

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Pieces of Doan Valley Tunnel’s concrete lining are placed on the segment car to be transported to the advancing tunnel boring machine.

In a letter to federal congressional leaders, the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District requested the inclusion of sewer and stormwater infrastructure in the next round of COVID stimulus funding.

The funding would allow clean water agencies, who provide critical public health and environmental services, to fill operations revenue losses and ensure continued delivery of services while meeting ongoing regulatory requirements.

Nationwide, the National Association of Clean Water Agencies estimates that public clean water agencies will face a $16.8 billion loss of revenue as a result of the pandemic. …

Earth Day turns 50, so what?

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Earth Day in Cleveland, Ohio. Cleveland State University, 1970. Details.

Last year marked a unique five-decade anniversary as we remembered the last fire that burned on the Cuyahoga River, sparking national attention and an environmental movement.

One year later, out of the haze emerged the first Earth Day.

This 2020 year has a haze of its own that makes celebrations odd and the passage of time harder to process. But this fiftieth Earth Day is no less significant than the crooked river’s comeback. We are proud of the progress and we remain committed to the cause.

There is no disconnecting the 1969 Cuyahoga River fire and the 1970 Earth Day…

Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District

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