City of Elyria > Departments > Wastewater



Wastewater Pollution Control Plant

In operation since 1929, the City of Elyria’s Wastewater Pollution Control Plant was one of the first facilities in Ohio to provide secondary treatment utilizing the suspended growth activated sludge process. The original facility was designed for an average flow of 3.6 MGD. Following expansions in 1962 and 1986-1989, the plant can now treat an average daily flow of 13 MGD utilizing a two-stage biological treatment system (activated sludge preceded by a trickling filter tower system). Effluent from the plant is discharged to the Black River approximately eight miles upstream to its discharge to Lake Erie.

Sanitary Collection System

The first in Elyria date back prior to 1900 and were combined sewers, which ran relatively short distances to the East and West Branches of the Black River. The construction of separate sanitary sewers was initialized in 1904 based on the City Engineer’s recommendation. Prior to 1928, sewage was collected and discharged directly to the Black River. In 1928 and 1929 the 48-inch interceptor was constructed from the Elywood Park outfall to the newly constructed Wastewater Pollution Control Plant. Today the sanitary collection system consists of some 300 miles of gravity sewers, 25 lift stations and approximately 5 miles of force main.

Storm Water Collection System

The Wastewater Pollution Control Plant has the responsibility of maintaining the City storm water sewer system. This system collects and discharges storm water directly to the Black River. In order to preserve and protect the Black River from pollution, the City is working to reduce the discharge of pollutants by cleaning, inspecting and rehabilitating sewers; investigating and requiring cleanup of spills, asking residents to disconnect roof drains from the storm lines and educating the public through handouts and activities. Efforts are intended to promote a comprehensive approach to preventing storm water pollution.


The wastewater is cleaned as it flows through the Wastewater Pollution Control Plant and is then discharged to the Black River. The Ohio EPA has imposed stringent limits on this discharge for many parameters. Cadmium, chromium, copper, cyanide, lead, mercury, nickel, and zinc (just to name a few) are only removed from the wastewater incidentally at the plant, and therefore, must be controlled at their sources. The City instituted an industrial pretreatment program in the early 70’s and intensified this program in 1985. With the cooperation of business and industries the Wastewater Pollution Control Plant has been able to consistently meet its permit for the industrial parameters.


The City of Elyria Water Pollution Control Board meets once a month to discuss matters related to water quality and pollution control. The Board currently meets on the first Wednesday of each month at 8:30 AM in the Safety Service Director’s office located on the third floor of City Hall. For additional information about the Board meetings, please call the Wastewater Pollution Control Plant at 440.366.2211 ext. 5130.


The laboratory is responsible for the analysis of in-plant samples along with any samples submitted by the Pretreatment and Collection System divisions, both industrial and residential, along with assistance to any City department when possible. In addition to the normal analytical equipment, the laboratory contains an atomic absorption spectrophotometer, a gas chromatograph, an infrared spectrophotometer and an autoanalyzer.

Sewer Problems

Should you experience sewer problems, contact the Wastewater Pollution Control Plant at 440.366.2211 Ext. 0.  There are operators at the plant 24 hours per day. At times (evenings and night) it may be necessary to leave a phone message, as the operators may be making their rounds.  The operator will return your call as soon as they return from rounds.  Your problem will be investigated at no charge to you. Once this department receives a report of a sewer problem a crew will be dispatched to investigate.  If you do not get a response, contact the Police Department at 440.323.3302.

Report – A – Polluter

Should you observe pollution of the land, air, or water, you can report the situation to the Wastewater Pollution Control Plant at 440.366.2211 Ext. 0 (24 hours a day). It is best to report the problem as it is happening.

Pollution of the air should also be reported to the Ohio EPA, Air Pollution Division at 1.800.686.6330. After hours, use Option #1, Extension 212 and leave a message on the answering machine. Ohio EPA is responsible for tracking air pollution complaints. Air pollution complaints reported to the Wastewater Pollution Control Plant will be logged and followed-up with the Ohio EPA.