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City Council gives Akron sewer project green light
The city is moving ahead with a project to separate two sewers in order to stop sewage overflow

Alison Ritchie

Akron is moving forward to separate its sanitary and storm sewers – and keep millions of gallons of raw sewage out of streams, lakes and rivers. City Council has approved an estimated 3.6 million dollar project to separate two of the overflow racks that dump into the Cuyahoga River. The merged racks allow sewage to be flushed into the storm sewer, during heavy rains.

Akron’s Public Service Director Rick Merolla says the project is a start, but it will not fix the river’s larger pollution problem.

Rick Merolla

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"The water is polluted before it comes into Akron," Merolla says. "We’re going to take everything that we put in it, as much as we can, out of it. But it’s polluted before it gets here and it will be polluted after it leaves. But as it flows through Akron, we will try to clean up all of our overflows."

Merolla says the project is being paid for by higher sewer rates already in place for Akron’s residents. He adds that the project is expected to begin this fall and be completed by next summer.

The sewer district that solves Cuyahoga County and other parts of Northeast Ohio also is undergoing a multi-million-dollar upgrade. 

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