City Council Visits Nottingham Water Plant

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Members of Cleveland City Council toured the Nottingham Water Treatment Plant in Euclid on Tuesday.  It was part of the Utility Committee’s regular visit to Cleveland facilities.  But as ideastream’s Elizabeth Miller explains, this trip had a lot more to do with news of toxic sediment moving toward a water intake pipe on Lake Erie. 

Over the nearly 2 hour tour and discussion at the Nottingham treatment plant, public utilities and plant officials fielded questions like this: “Here’s the 64,000 question: why don’t they just remove the blob from underneath the water?”

Earlier this month, the Ohio EPA and the city’s water department said a 2 mile patch of contaminated sediment, dredged from the Cuyahoga River more than 40 years ago, is drifting toward the plant’s intake pipe.  Two councilmen said they were getting calls from concerned constituents about the safety of their drinking water and the fish that swim in the lake. Councilman Michael Polensek invited members of his ward to join the tour so they could see the water treatment process for themselves. 

Utility Committee chair and Ward 1 Councilman Terrell Pruitt says touring the facility will hopefully foster more trust in Cleveland water.

"I personally had confidence in the system," said Pruitt.

"I just wanted to make sure all my colleagues and the public had a sense of how resilient the system is, and how it’s designed to deal with these types of issues."

The water department says the water is safe to drink, while Ohio EPA and the Army Corp of Engineers disagree whether the sediment is drifting from its original dumping site.  Pruitt says City Council will continue its support of the Ohio EPA in the fight to prevent open dumping of toxic sediment into Lake Erie. 

Find out how Cleveland's water treatment works here

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