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:
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 improving water quality with each year, but we also understand there are significant obstacles ahead, including legacy system challenges and funding. …
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:
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 overall; prior to Project Clean Lake, the Sewer District constructed the Mill Creek Tunnel located in the Southerly Wastewater Treatment Center service area. …