Swimming at Edgewater Beach in Ohio has been halted again after 285,000 gallons of combined sewage flowed into Lake Erie. Heavy morning rain on Sunday caused a combination of storm-water and sewage to overwhelm underground pipes and overflow at Edgewater Beach.
The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District is once again warning the public of sewage overflow at Edgewater Beach following storms.
The district issued a public advisory after the contaminated water started overflowing around Sunday noon. This overflow discharged a combination of sewage and storm-water into Lake Erie, exceeding the 25-year capacity of the sewer system.
The advisory said, "Visitors, particularly children, the elderly, and those in ill health are advised to avoid contact with the water and woody debris."
Beachgoers Disappointed by 'No Swimming' Signs
As soon as the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District posted a public advisory around noon, there were red flags and "no swimming" signs at the beach. During the dog days of summer Northeast Ohioans look for some relief in the refreshing waters of Lake Erie, but bachelors were disappointed reading 'No Swimming' signs at the beach, according to Fox News.
Beachgoer Sherrie Stanley told Fox News, "It's a beautiful day, you know we just want to come out and have a good time," said beachgoer Sherrie Stanley. "They went to put their feet in but the lifeguards said 'not today,'" said Stanley.
285K Gallons of Combined Sewage Goes into Lake Erie
District representative Jenn Elting told Fox News that the overflow lasted about 10 minutes and about 285,000 gallons of combined sewage went into Lake Erie. The lake is normally tested once a day to help predict whether the water is safe to be in, but Elting says that ramps up in these instances.
"What we'll do is we'll go out twice a day and we will test E. Coli levels and we will keep the signs posted at the beach until we know the water is safe for everyone to go back and swim in it," Elting said.
Discharges Becoming Regular Affair
The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District told the combined sewer outfall at Edgewater discharged a mixture of sewage and storm-water into Lake Erie approximately 40 to 50 times per year through the mid-1970s. Over the past five years, the discharges have been more frequent. In 2020, the Edgewater outfall discharged on four occasions, with the last incident on October 21.
Sunday's storm caused the 12th overflow in the past five years. Elting says they continue to look for ways to improve the function of the system and make overflows happen less frequently.