City of Lima, Ohio, enters CWA settlement to reduce critical sewage overflows

To resolve claims that untreated sewer discharges were released into the Ottawa River during wet weather, the city of Lima, Ohio, has entered into a Clean Water Act settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Justice and State of Ohio.

CHICAGO, IL, Nov. 21, 2014 -- To resolve claims that untreated sewer discharges were released into the Ottawa River during wet weather, the city of Lima, Ohio, has officially entered into a Clean Water Act (CWA) settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Department of Justice and State of Ohio.

The proposed consent decree, lodged in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio on Thursday, Nov. 20, requires Lima to make major structural improvements to control combined sewer overflows (CSOs) and to eliminate overflows from the sanitary sewer system.

The decree requires the city to more than double wastewater treatment capacity -- from 30 million gallons per (MGD) day to 70 MGD. It will reduce sewer overflows by fully or partially separating stormwater and sewer lines, constructing a new 13-million gallon storage tank and installing a pump system.

These actions are expected to significantly reduce Lima's CSOs over the next 10 years, while sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs) will be eliminated in stages throughout the life of the consent decree. These and other improvements will cost an estimated $147 million. The city will also pay a civil penalty of $49,000, to be split evenly between the U.S. and State of Ohio.

In addition, the city agreed to remove and replace dead or compromised trees along the banks of the Ottawa River. This estimated $218,000 revitalization project is expected to improve water quality and benefit the aquatic ecosystem in the river.

See also: "Ottawa River cleanup completed by federal, state and local partners"

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