Sewage overflows dumped into Toledo waterways for nearly 100 hou - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Sewage overflows dumped into Toledo waterways for nearly 100 hours last week

A combined sewage overflow A combined sewage overflow
TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -

A contributing factor to algal blooms in Lake Erie is sewage, which it turns out, is occasionally dumped directly into the waterways to make its way to the lake.

The heavy rains received in the Toledo area on Aug. 11 were too much for the local sewer system to handle. When that happens, combined sewage overflows in the city dump excess stormwater and sewage into the Maumee River, Swan Creek and the Ottawa River.

There are at least 32 combined sewage overflows in the City of Toledo. They were opened to continuously dump stormwater and sewage for 5,929 minutes last week – close to 100 hours.

Officials say that number is high, but it continues to decrease as the city works to build bigger holding tanks and upgrade the water system as part of the Toledo Waterway Initiative.

"I think our program is doing a good thing by reducing the entry into the waterways," said Julie Cousino, with the initiative. "At this point we are two-thirds complete with the program, and at the end of the program with the construction of the projects in 2020, it will reduce the amount of sewage into the waterways by 80 percent."

It is not known exactly how many gallons of sewage flowed into the waterways last week while the overflows were open. 

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