The Ohio EPA has awarded more than $150 million in low-interest loans to the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District (NEORSD) for two projects aimed at reducing combined sewer overflows (CSOs).
NEORSD will use a loan of $142,320,000 to construct a four-mile-long storage tunnel on the east side of Cleveland. Once complete, the tunnel will store sanitary sewage mixed with storm water until it can be sent to the local wastewater treatment plant for treatment. Temporarily storing the excess sewage will result in a dramatic reduction of CSOs discharging to Doan Brook during wet weather events.
By participating in Ohio EPA’s Water Resource Restoration Sponsor Program, the sewer district has agreed to direct a portion of the loan’s interest payments to purchase and protect 394 acres of wetlands in the Geneva Swamp (Ashtabula Co.) and 60 acres of wetland habitat bordering the Beck Fen Nature Preserve (Portage Co.).
NEORSD will use a second loan of $9,871,800 to repair and replace a portion of Kingsbury Run’s Culvert Branch A, which receives sanitary sewage and storm water overflow from upstream regulators. The sewer district plans to reestablish flow capacity by bypassing an unrepairable section of the sewer channel. The project will reduce public health risks associated with CSOs and improve water quality in the Cuyahoga River and Lake Erie.