March 2018 Vol. 73 No. 3


Cleveland Wastewater Treatment Plant Awarded for Sustainable Infrastructure

The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District (NEORSD) Southerly Wastewater Treatment Plant in the Cleveland area is the recent recipient of the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI) Envision Silver award.

Located on a 288-acre site in the Village of Cuyahoga Heights, Ohio, the NEORSD Southerly Plant serves a population of more than 530,000 in the Greater Cleveland area. It is the largest of the district’s three wastewater treatment plants, the largest of its kind in the state and the 12th largest in the nation, handling an average daily flow of 120 million gallons per day (mgd).

Envision is a collaborative effort between ISI – founded by the American Society of Civil Engineers, American Council of Engineering Companies and American Public Works Association – and the Zofnass Program for Sustainable Infrastructure at Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

The Envision system rates the positive social, economic and environmental impacts of sustainable infrastructure projects on a community, in five categories: Quality of Life, Leadership, Resource Allocation, Natural World, and Climate and Risk.

On its Envision submission, NEORSD collaborated closely with The Construction Green Team, an environmental sustainability consulting firm specializing in construction projects. Specific, key accomplishments that contributed to the NEORSD Southerly Plant earning an Envision Silver award include:

Long-Term Monitoring and Maintenance. The NEORSD Southerly Plant has been operational since 1928, with a well-established history of undergoing upgrades and rehabilitations over time to continue to meet the needs of the community it serves, as well as to continue to comply with stricter water treatment standards.

Energy Reduction.  Most recent was 2014 completion of the Renewable Energy Facility (REF), a state-of-the-art incineration facility that uses sludge, septage and grease from both the Southerly and Easterly plants to generate energy. Along with the decommissioning of the Southerly Plant’s Biosolids Thermal Conditioning System, the REF contributes to a reduction in natural gas usage by approximately 137,000 mcf per year.

Economic Growth and Development. NEORSD creates approximately 70 percent of the employment in Cuyahoga Heights, and many opportunities for career advancement through its hiring practices, and training and education.

Development of Local Skills and Capabilities. Educational opportunities are expanded to other stakeholders (customers, public officials, community groups and school groups) through introductory level workshops NEORSD offers to Northeast Ohioans interested in learning more about the history and future of sewer systems, water quality and sustainability in the region.

“ISI is pleased to present the Southerly Plant with the Envision Silver award for sustainable infrastructure,” said ISI President and CEO, John Stanton. “We are impressed with the district’s leadership and ongoing commitments to upgrading, operating and maintaining this facility in accordance with the highest sustainability standards. Recent upgrades and additions to the plant, including the Renewable

Energy Facility, will result in the Southerly Plant being able to serve the community of Cuyahoga Heights and the Greater Cleveland area for decades to come.”

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