Triathlon Organizers Monitor Lake Erie For Sewage Days Before Race

Lifeguards patrol Edgewater Beach in Cleveland, which is closed to swimming due to sewer overflow. [Elizabeth Miller / ideastream]
Lifeguards patrol Edgewater Beach in Cleveland, which is closed to swimming due to a sewer overflow event. [Elizabeth Miller / ideastream]

Heavy rain early Tuesday morning overwhelmed Cleveland’s combined sewers, resulting in raw sewage mixing with stormwater entering Lake Erie.

The combined sewer overflow prompted Cleveland Metroparks to close Edgewater Beach for swimming Tuesday and Wednesday.

The news comes less than a week before Cleveland hosts some five thousand athletes for the USA Triathlon championships. Triathlon representative Caryn Maconi says she’s keeping an eye on twice-daily water quality test results.

Signs warning of sewer overflow entering Lake Erie at Edgewater Beach in Cleveland.

These signs are posted at Edgewater Beach [Elizabeth Miller/ideastream]

“We are continuing to work very closely with Cleveland Metroparks,” said Maconi. “We are testing the water quality throughout the week to ensure that athlete safety is the top priority for this weekend. As of now, the race will continue as planned.”

Maconi says the swimming leg of the race is 1,500 meters on Saturday and 750 meters for Sunday's race. If water quality remains poor, she says there are contingency plans to adjust the course.

Set-up underway for the USA Triathlon championships this weekend [Elizabeth Miller/ideastream]

The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District reports the results of its beach water quality tests on its website.

The sewer district says there are 120 overflow sites throughout Cleveland and its suburbs. Edgewater’s last overflow event during recreation season was in 2015.

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