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Central Ohio Group Issues

This article was submitted for the November / December 2005  issue of the newsletter.

Sierra Club Sewers Campaign Critical for Columbus

By , Central Ohio Water Quality Coordinator
For four years, the Central Ohio Sierra Club has pressed the city to eliminate overflows and backups of raw sewage, and to reduce sewage discharges and bypasses.  We have been there advocating for the environment and neighborhoods.  We testify at City Council, attend public meetings, review technical documents, educate citizens, and work for a cleaner environment.

The good news is that Columbus is admitting that it has “wet weather capacity deficiencies” and is moving to address them. It has put forward a massive Wet Weather Management Plan.

 The bad news is that the proposals are for large expensive projects that will not totally solve the problem.

As this goes to press, the Central Ohio Group is evaluating the massive planning document that Columbus has proposed for future sewage management.  We will submit comments on how the sewers Wet Weather Management Plan can be improved.  We will participate in the rate review process to advocate for just, equitable, and economical sewer rates.

     Columbus proposes “High Rate Treatment” when treatment plants are above capacity, with separate facilities to settle solids chemically and chlorinate the resulting liquid.  High Rate Treatment bypasses usual biological processes that neutralize bacteria and pathogens.  Because the sewage handled by this method is only partially treated, large amounts of chlorine are proposed for disinfection. Resorting to such measures may act as a disincentive to build adequate full treatment facilities.

On Mon., Nov. 14 Ohio EPA will hold a public hearing on Columbus’ Wet Weather Management Plan.  It starts at 6:30 pm at the Ohio EPA Central District Office, 3232 Alum Creek Drive.  Columbus City Council will vote on the rate setting process at the end of November.

Columbus sewers service about 80% of the people in Central Ohio.  Even if you live in another local community, Columbus’ sewer plans and sewer rates will probably affect you. This is a regional issue which will affect the quality of our lives for years to come.  For further information, go to the Sewers Campaign website.


$$ Needed to Pay for Research and Review of Columbus’ Huge Wet Weather Management Plan

The plan’s size equals a stack of papers 5 1/2 feet tall.

The Sierra Club is the ONLY organization deeply involved in protecting Central Ohio citizens from sewage overflows, advocating for better plans for remediation, and advocating for fair sewer rates.  Please consider donating NOW to support our Columbus Sewer Campaign.

For tax deductibility, please make out your check to the Sierra Club Foundation and send to:

Central Ohio Sierra Club Treasurer
6760 Hayhurst Street
Worthington, OH 43085-2539

 

For four years, the Central Ohio Sierra Club has pressed the city to eliminate overflows and backups of raw sewage, and to reduce sewage discharges and bypasses.
This is a regional issue which will affect the quality of our lives for years to come.

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