Lakewood to spend $85 million after nearly 2,000 sewage discharges into Lake Erie, Rocky River

Published: Nov. 2, 2022 at 6:05 AM EDT
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LAKEWOOD, Ohio (WOIO) - The city of Lakewood has agreed to spend approximately $85 million to improve its sewer system.

According to the Department of Justice, the improvements will “significantly” reduce the amount of raw sewage discharges from Lakewood’s system into Lake Erie and the Rocky River.

Officials said the city of Lakewood allegedly discharged untreated sanitary sewage into the bodies of water on at least 1,933 occasions from Jan. 2016 to now.

Under the consent decree agreement, Lakewood will be required to complete construction of a system to treat combines sewer overflows and wastewater.

Additionally, the city of Lakewood must also conduct multiple pipe repair projects and studies on the area’s stormwater outfalls.

“Discharges of untreated sewage can damage local water bodies and sicken community members who come in contact,” Larry Starfield, the Environmental Protection Agency’s acting assistant administrator for the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, said. “This settlement will benefit Lakewood and other Ohio communities by preventing the discharge of millions of gallons of untreated sewage from entering the Rocky River and Lake Erie.”

The Department of Justice estimated that the decree will prevent millions of gallons of raw sewage from being discharged into Lake Erie and the Rocky River.