TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Sunday's rain caused overflows of combined sewage water into our rivers, but not in the areas where the Toledo Waterways Initiative is already up and running.
The goal of the initiative is to greatly reduce the volume of combined sewer overflows into our waterways. Currently, the project is about 70 percent complete.
Julie Cousino, program administrator with the Toledo Waterways Initiative, says on average during Sunday's storm, the waste water treatment plant processed 95 million gallons of sewage, with a peak flow of 167 million gallons.
"With the Toledo Waterways Initiative program, we already have some of our facilities online, and we saw a couple of basins fill, but no overflows," said Cousino. "We had an 8 million gallon basin fill and a 6 million gallon basin fill, with no overflows."
Our waterways weren't completely untouched though.
"Combined sewer overflows that we did see totaled 6 million gallons. However, those were in facilities with outfalls where we have not completed our TWI projects yet," said Cousino.
The plan now is to get the waterways initiative in those areas as well. It's a $521 million dollar project with a completion date in 2020.
"At that time, we'll have reduced the combined sewer overflows by roughly 650 million gallons on an annual basis and that's an 80 percent reduction in overflows," said Cousino.
Several projects are coming up that will build facilities to hold, separate or divert storm and waste water until the plant can treat it and then put it into the waterways.
Thursday, March 31, bidding begins for upcoming projects. The City of Toledo and the Toledo Waterways Initiative is holding an event for Minority Business Enterprises (MBE) and Women Business Enterprises (WBE).
"At the McMaster Center at the Toledo Lucas County Public Library downtown, and that will be introducing all the projects in 2016, all of the city projects," said Cousino. "We are going to be highlight the International Park storage basin."
To learn more about the Toledo Waterways Initiative click here.