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Silver Lake receives $900,000 in federal funds to stop sewage overflow

The Silver Lake sign on Route 59 says, "Cleaner water. Healthier community. Thank you Rep. Sykes." The lake lies on the other side of the road.
Abigail Bottar
Ideastream Public Media
Silver Lake received $904,000 from the federal government on June 6, 2024, to construct a new sanitary sewer to prevent overflow into its namesake lake.

Silver Lake, a small village in Summit County, is receiving $904,000 in federal funds to stop sewage overflow into its namesake lake, according to a press release from Rep. Emilia Sykes' office.

"You can't be in a community that's named for its largest body of water and not have water quality issues at the forefront of your minds," Silver Lake Mayor Therese Dunphy said.

The village will construct 1,750 feet of new sanitary sewer and close the overflow into Silver Lake with the funding, according to the press release.

"A lot of people don't think that that is fun or sexy," Sykes, who sits on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said, "but when you have me as your congresswoman, I am all ears."

The funding will help finish a sewage project the village has been working on for decades, Dunphy said.

"This is one of the last combined storm water and sewer systems, so when there's a lot of rain, those two types of water in the system can become mingled," she explained. "And so if they overflow, those go into our river and to our lake."

Combined storm water and sewer pipes currently discharge into Silver Lake and the Cuyahoga River, Dunphy said. The system lays at the top of the hill, so overflow volume is significant, she added.

The lake currently has elevated levels of discharge, including phosphates and other chemicals that harm water quality.

The funding comes from the 2024 federal spending bill, according to the press release. Sykes is poised to bring more money to Ohio's 13th Congressional District to assist with water infrastructure, she said.

Federal funding is crucial to finishing this project, Dunphy said.

"The village has two businesses, otherwise, we're all residential, so our income stream is 82% income and property tax," she said. "So that means that every time we do an improvement, it's on the residents."

The project will take about a year to complete, Dunphy said.

The village is currently working on other water infrastructure projects, she added. Water infrastructure tends to last about 50 years, and some parts of Silver Lake's infrastructure is 100 years old.

Abigail Bottar covers Akron, Canton, Kent and the surrounding areas for Ideastream Public Media.