August 23, 2014

Elyria
Fog
72°F
test

Heavy rains tax Elyria’s aging stormwater system

 

George Tassie, assistant foreman for the Lorain County Engineer, guides a plow as it pushes several tons of  gravel back into place on Indian Hollow Road near Foster Road. BRUCE BISHOP/CHRONICLE

George Tassie, assistant foreman for the Lorain County Engineer, guides a plow as it pushes several tons of gravel back into place on Indian Hollow Road near Foster Road. BRUCE BISHOP/CHRONICLE

ELYRIA — In the face of so much rain, Elyria’s plan for a stormwater overhaul has city officials eyeing weather trends.

Tuesday’s deluge brought nearly 2.75 inches of rain in a 24-hour period and pushed the city’s water treatment system to capacity.

“The water plant peaked at a rate of 100 million gallons a day at 8 p.m.,” Safety Service Director Mary Siwierka said. “I don’t know if our weather patterns are changing for sure, but I know our system has been pushed a lot lately.”

The last time the city’s wastewater treatment plant — most of the city’s stormwater and sewer system is more than 50 years ago — was tested to those limits was just six weeks ago when another spring storm rolled through the area.

“I realize people have lost patience and faith, and I empathize,” she said. “The system has been old for many years, but it still doesn’t mean it’s not frustrating.”

Tuesday’s rain resulted in 30 calls from residents complaining of water in their basements and two who had flooded yards. The May storm produced more than 130 calls for water in basements.

“There is no system that can take the amount of water we are getting,” Siwierka said.

Elyria’s problems are not just the rain. Neighborhoods that have had problems are well known to the city. The streets north of Hilliard Road were annexed to the city in 1958 and storm sewers were never put in. The St. Jude area, portions of Eastern Heights and the numbered streets have old combined sewer and storm sewers that can’t take excess rain.

Siwierka said upgrades will be done systematically around the city, but will take years.

Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or lroberson@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter @LisaRobersonCT.

  • Sis Delish

    Nah, just keep raising taxes for Pensions and Benefits… the infrastructure can wait.

    • Mark B

      Actually the city has charged / taxed us for EPA mandated upgrades 3 times now , and still has not performed ANY work .

  • GreatRedeemer

    Um, isn’t the picture in Grafton ? Don’t the CT have a picture of the Elyria water workers to use ?

    • Mark B

      Are you kidding , the Elyria City Workers NEVER step foot out of their City provided Vehicles till its QUITTING time

  • golfingirl

    Headline reads:
    “Heavy rains tax Elyria’s aging storm water system”

    The key word here is “Tax.”

  • luvmytoaster

    Hmmm, what is that smell? Another tax increase…..

    • golfingirl

      Yep, smells just like the stormwater.

  • Pablo Jones

    Who in their right mind calls to complain about water in their yard after a rainstorm?