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EPA Awards Top Designation to Akron Sewer Overflow Project

The basin holds nearly 2.5 million gallons of overflow, and is run primarily by gravity.
M.L. SCHUTLZE
/
WKSU public radio
The basin holds nearly 2.5 million gallons of overflow, and is run primarily by gravity.
The basin holds nearly 2.5 million gallons of overflow, and is run primarily by gravity.
Credit M.L. SCHUTLZE / WKSU public radio
/
WKSU public radio
The basin holds nearly 2.5 million gallons of overflow, and is run primarily by gravity.

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.

Burgoyne says it took about a year to complete the project, which was built with special state financing that lowers the cost to ratepayers.
Credit M.L. SCHULTZE / WKSU
/
WKSU
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.

Copyright 2021 WKSU. To see more, visit WKSU.

M.L. Schultze
M.L. Schultze came to WKSU as news director in July 2007 after 25 years at The Repository in Canton, where she was managing editor for nearly a decade. She’s now the digital editor and an award-winning reporter and analyst who has appeared on NPR, Here and Now and the TakeAway, as well as being a regular panelist on Ideas, the WVIZ public television's reporter roundtable.