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EPA Awards Top Designation to Akron Sewer Overflow Project

Howard Basin
WKSU public radio

Akron’s effort to reduce the flow of sewage into streams and rivers has won state and national notice, not only for the way it’s being built but for how it’s being financed. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze took a closer look at a massive concrete bin known as the Howard Storage Basin that the city was showing off today.

The Howard Storage Basin got its first big workout last weekend when heavy rains that would have carried millions of gallons of sewage overflow into the Little Cuyahoga River stopped in this massive, 30-foot-deep concrete rectangle instead.

Once here, long stainless-steel buckets filled with water, tipped and flushed the debris, sending the contaminated part of the water over to the sewage treatment plant.

Tony Burgoyne
Burgoyne says it took about a year to complete the project, which was built with special state financing that lowers the cost to ratepayers.

Tony Burgoyne of the GPD Group helped design the $21 million project.

‘It’s a wave of energy like an ocean tide. Here, you also see water monitors through throughout and around the basin, that’s for fine cleaning. It’s a cannon. It’s a fun spray park.”

It’s also one of five projects nationally to be rated as exceptional by the U.S. EPA largely because of a series of loans and other financing.

M.L. Schultze is a freelance journalist. She spent 25 years at The Repository in Canton where she was managing editor for nearly a decade, then served as WKSU's news director and digital editor until her retirement.