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.
SEPARATING AVON LAKE’S COMBINED SEWERS
After passage of the Clean Water Act of 1972 (federal law), the City of Avon Lake and Avon Lake Municipal Utilities immediately began to separate its combined sewers and by 1974 had a City Master Sewer Plan in effect that would eliminate dry weather CSOs. By 1994 congress established a CSO Control Policy to provide guidance and authorize states to issue permits limiting the levels of overflow cities could discharge into the environment. It also ensured the public would be involved in the implementation of CSO management practices and controls.
In May of 2001, Avon Lake City Council authorized the City Engineer to begin requesting engineering service proposals for the design and construction of the Avon-Belden Road Combined Sewer Separation. The following March, the Municipal Utilities began negotiating a contract with Brown & Caldwell, a nationally recognized engineering firm specializing in CSO control planning, to develop a long term plan required by the State of Ohio EPA and USEPA.
Avon Lake’s Long Term Control Plan was introduced to the public at a meeting in the community library in January 2003. Designed to meet present requirements of the Clean Water Act, the plan will lessen future impact of overflows on the environment. It has a phased approach that considers the financial burden to the community. The plan is site-specific to Avon Lake, addressing the sensitive areas at Heider Creek, the beach, and the water plant’s intake in Lake Erie. Alternative measures to sewer separation, such as storage/treatment, infiltration/inflow reduction, floatables control, and increasing treatment at Avon Lake’s Water Reclamation Facility (WRF), were also considered.
Sewer separation began in June 2003 on Moore Rd. Other areas of Avon Lake that Avon Lake Regional Water separated include Belmar, Moorewood, Mull-Norman, and Fairfield-Brookfield. In 2017, Avon Lake Regional Water, in partnership with the City of Avon Lake, began its last major combined sewer separation project, The 45 Area Combined Sewer Separation Project. Estimated completion of this project is 2019.
Combined Sewer Overflow Event Notification
Avon Lake continues to work towards elimination of all combined sewers within the City. Per our Long Term Control Plan, Avon Lake Regional Water must notify the public of a combined sewer overflow (CSO) event. If a CSO event occurs, Avon Lake Regional will provide information to the public below. Please call (440) 933-6226 if you have any questions.