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Monday, February 28, 2011

Raw Sewage Diverted Into the Cuyahoga River

Posted By on Mon, Feb 28, 2011 at 4:12 PM

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Massive flooding at at the Southerly Wastewater Treatment Plant has forced the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District to pour raw sewage into the Cuyahoga River, so they're asking you to limit the amount of water you use today.

The Southerly location just off E. 49th St. usually handles 125 million gallons a day; its capacity is 360 million gallons a day. Today, however, it was struck by the "perfect storm," according to the PD. Rain and melting snow caused flooding at the building, causing damage and preventing crews from treating the water, which was coming in at a flow much faster than normal.

The EPA has been notified that crews are diverting raw sewage into local waterways — not an uncommon thing during torrential rains and floods. How uncommon is it? The PD's recap has this scary line of the day: "About 4.5 billion gallons of raw sewage are discharged annually into the environment by the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District." Super. NORSD says that the $3 billion in improvements required by the EPA should put a dent in that amount but not bring it down to zero.

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