$266M renovation of Lakewood, Ohio’s obsolete sewers to help restore Lake Erie

The city could be facing costs of about $266 million in upcoming years to eliminate combined sewer overflows into Lake Erie and the Rocky River, according to a city-hired consultant.

The city’s aging sanitary sewer system isn’t able to handle wastewater flows during wet weather, and more than 170 million gallons of untreated sewage mixed with storm water is released annually into Lake Erie and the Rocky River.

The city is looking at numerous potential solutions for addressing the overflow problems including:

  • Replacing damaged sewer pipes;
  • Eliminating cross connections between storm and sanitary sewers;
  • Disconnecting residents’ gutters and foundation drains from sanitary sewers;
  • Adding green infrastructure including bioretention areas and permeable pavement;
  • Installing high-rate treatment equipment at the existing wastewater treatment plant to increase treatment capacity during heavy rainfalls by 35 million gallons per day, nearly doubling the capacity of the current plant;
  • Possibly tying the east end of Lakewood into Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District sewers.

Photo of Lake Erie by Storm Cunningham.

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