Of course Cleveland weather might cloud your view of the eclipse.

Here are five favorite sewer sites you could visit instead. Glasses optional.

Of course. The day Cleveland is in the national spotlight is because of its place in the shadow. And even then, there’s now an above-average change we could get clouded out.

Forecasts for Cleveland’s path-of-totality viewing conditions the day of the total solar eclipse Monday indicate the possibility of “64% of its sky covered by clouds.”

As for the current chance of rain Monday afternoon in Cleveland? Only about 30%, but that’s still “the highest probability of precipitation along the path of totality,” according to WEWS.

We’ve already shared how you can best prepare your plumbing for the solar eclipse. But if weather is affecting your plans, we want you to make the most of your northeast Ohio visit. We offer five unexpected sewer-related regional highlights whatever the weather, without having to wait another 400 years to see them.

1. Lake View Cemetery dam

Photo by Nicole Harvel

Deep within Cleveland’s legendary Lake View Cemetery is the largest dam in Cuyahoga County and the largest concrete dam east of the Mississippi River, the Lake View dam. We constructed the dam in 1978–1979 for flood control and still own, maintain and manage it today.

Besides its infrastructural appeal, it also has film credits in Captain America: Winter Soldier and bears the signatures of stars Cobie Smulders and Scarlett Johansson. Their marks aren’t publicly visible but rather buried within the inner sanctum of access tunnels for our team.

Photo by Nicole Harvel

2. Arial sewers in the Cleveland Metroparks

Two stretches of elevated sewer interceptors cross the Cuyahoga River in the Cleveland Metroparks not far from our Southerly Wastewater Treatment Plant: Our Big Creek Interceptor and our Southwest Interceptor. If there is any chance of eclipse viewing that afternoon, maybe wait to look up and see them until after the sun comes back.

These elevated lines are perched 40 feet above the Cuyahoga River, and about 25 feet above the shore. The Southwest Interceptor began construction in the 1980s and the Big Creek Interceptor trestle dates back to the 1930s.

Why above ground? Our Program Lead Mike Zapior explained, “Most sewers rely on gravity for the movement of flows. If these two sewers remained underground and under the river, pumping stations would be needed to move the flows back up the hillside. Going above ground with a gravity sewer is more efficient and cost-effective than using pump stations and force mains to transport flows.”

You can see these sewers on the Towpath Trail in the Ohio & Erie Canal Reservation.

3. Green infrastructure sites near you

Granted, all traffic is sure to be a nightmare at 3:00 Monday afternoon. You might not want to venture far from your home or rental. Wherever you live or wherever you’re staying, chances are there are beautiful and functional green infrastructure sites close to your home that look great — and could be very active if weather ends up wet.

La Salle Parking Lot Green Retrofit 2020 funded by an NEORSD Green Infrastructure Grant.

Thanks to our Green Infrastructure Grants, businesses and organizations across the region have advanced projects that reduce the amount of stormwater entering our combined sewer system, managing stormwater on-site and often looking great doing it. We have an online map to see all of our green grant projects and you can filter them by community to find one near you. Check out our complete interactive map.

Map of our Green Infrastructure Grant site projects since 2014.

4. Career opportunities

Since you’re eyeing the sky already, you might also consider looking to a future here in Cleveland. Our workforcleanwater.com site showcases all of our latest job opportunities along with great resources if you are considering relocating to the path of totality with more permanence than a weekend visit.

Visit workforcleanwater.com.

5. Two dozen stream sampling locations

In the spring and summer we have crews active at 24 stream sampling sites conducting environmental assessments. You can locate all of them and consider a visit of your own. Our interactive map shows you where we sample, what we study, and detailed reports on water quality, fish species, study plans, macroinvertebrate populations, and much more.

Brandwine Creek

Whether you call Cleveland home or are just here for the once-in-a-lifetime eclipse event, our regional weather will always be a moving target. But sewer infrastructure is a phenomenon you can always count on to be visible and available, maybe sometimes when you least expect it.



Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District

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