Lake County towns get funding to help build pond to prevent raw sewage overflows – News-Herald

Willoughby recently received $3.5 million to fund the Willoughby-Eastlake Water Pollution Control Center’s Lakeshore Island East Equalization Pond Project.

U.S. Congressman Dave Joyce of R-Bainbridge Township was able to earmark federal budget money to make it the second-highest funding given to a Lake County entity, Willoughby Mayor Robert Robert Fiala.

“It’s a long way to help us fund this project,” Fiala said. “The other was $3.8 million donated to Fairport Harbor to dredge (clean up) the river.”

The project is part of WE-PCC’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit, said WE-WPCC Deputy Superintendent John Hall.

The basin will eliminate sanitary sewer overflows of raw sewage to East Island Drive in the lower Chagrin River area of ​​Eastlake. It will accomplish this by providing 1.35 million gallons of raw sewage storage capacity east of the river.

This will have an immediate positive impact not only on the river, but also on Lake Erie, boaters, residents and adjacent communities.

“The overall cost of the project is estimated to be between $6.5 and $7 million,” Hall said.

The overflow is located less than 0.5 miles from Lake Erie, the primary source of drinking water for much of the region.

Willoughby and Eastlake proactively prepared for this upgrade by completing a recent feasibility study to confirm required capacity, property suitability, schedule and budget, and purchased property in anticipation of project construction. .

The East Island sanitary sewer overflow must be eliminated by the end of 2024, Hall said. In wet weather, if the sewer system were submerged, it would currently overflow into the Chagrin River.

“With this basin, it will be stored in this underground basin,” Hall said.

The project has not previously received federal funds, but expects to have its 20% matching funds requirement within 12 months. The amount of funds requested for 2022 is approximately $5.8 million.

In 2011, a study commissioned by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency identified measures to be taken in the Willoughby-Eastlake system to prevent sewer bypasses and overflows into the environment. The only remaining overflow identified in the study was located at East Island.

The elimination of this overflow has been mandated in the new WE-WPCC 2021 operating permit with a schedule requiring the project to be designed and submitted to OEPA for installation permit by the end of 2023 and that construction to be completed by the end of 2024.

The basin project will be a regional facility that will provide services to communities in Western Lake County, including not only Willoughby and Eastlake, but also Timberlake and Lakeline, and parts of Willowick, Willoughby Hills, Kirtland, Mentor and Mentor-on. -the-Lake.

“It’s great for the environment because it will eliminate the last sanitary sewer overflow we have in our collection system,” Hall said.

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