About the Avon Lake Water Reclamation Facility
The Avon Lake Water Reclamation Facility (WRF) was established in 1960 to meet the community’s expanding need for safe wastewater treatment.
The original plant consisted of a barminutor, raw sewage pumping, grit removal, pre-aeration, primary settling, and chlorination before final discharge to Lake Erie. Design average flow through the plant was 3.4 million gallons per day.
The WRF serves all of Avon Lake, northern sections of Avon, and the Lorain County Rural Wastewater District (LORCO). LORCO includes areas in and around Eaton and Carlisle Townships.
In 2016, WRF began a three-year, $35 million rehabilitation project which included upgrades of new UV disinfection units, a new power generation system, a new raw sewage pump station, upgrades to other pumps, new screening units, grit removal upgrades, upgrades to tanks, and new solids press.
To comply with the Ohio EPA, the Utility has discontinued using its on-site monofill and now hauls its dewatered wastewater and water plant residuals to a solid waste landfill. Soon, a study will be undertaken to determine the most effective and appropriate methods for solids treatment and beneficial reuse/disposal.
The plant’s final effluent is thoroughly tested to assure compliance with both state and federal limits before it enters a submerged, diffused, discharge system that extends approximately 1,200 feet into Lake Erie’s receiving water. Tests for biological oxygen demand, pH, temperature, hexavalent chromium, phosphorus, solids (total, dissolved, suspended, and volatile), ammonia, dissolved oxygen, and oil/grease are performed at WRF laboratory. Wastewater related tests for kjeldahl nitrogen, nitrate/nitrite, arsenic, aluminum, cadmium, total chromium, copper, and other trace metals are performed at the Water Filtration Plant’s laboratory.
The National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) has set many water quality limits on that the water that may be discharged into the nation’s lakes and streams. The state of Ohio issues a NPDES Permit, which specifies discharge limits for municipal wastewater treatment facilities. The Water Reclamation Facility’spermit specifies a total phosphorus limit of 1 part per million (ppm). The Facility’s average total phosphorus discharge is well below the NPDES specified limits.
How big is a ppm? One part per million is equal to one minute in two years or one penny in $10,000. The mission of the WRF is to ensure that the plant’s discharge will meet or exceed federal and state guidelines for protecting Lake Erie, our receiving waters.