CITIZEN CONTACT: Amber Finkelstein

Communities Surrounding Eastern Ohio Regional Wastewater Authority Join Ohio EPA Agreement to Reduce Sewage Overflows

Martins Ferry, Bellaire, Bridgeport, Brookside and the Belmont County Sanitary Sewer District have joined an agreement with Ohio EPA to protect public health and the environment by reducing sewage overflows in the area. They are considered ‘satellite’ communities of the Eastern Ohio Regional Wastewater Authority (EORWA), and they are responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of their own infrastructure.

The partnership and cooperation of each of these satellites shows a commitment to improve their portion of the regional sewer system, and water quality throughout the area will improve to benefit everyone. Each of their sewer collection systems tie into EORWA’s sewer system and wastewater treatment plant.

This agreement is the latest multi-community agreement with Ohio EPA since the Agency first approved a groundbreaking agreement in 2009 with 23 suburban communities outside of Columbus. The goal of these agreements is to reduce the inflow of clean storm water into the sanitary sewer system. This excessive storm water causes sewer overflows, backed-up sewers and bacterial contamination throughout the affected area.

The satellite communities don’t treat their own sewage. Instead, they send it through the EORWA sanitary sewer system for treatment. During large storms, rainwater enters the sewers through cracks and improper connections and overloads the sewers or the treatment plant.

Under the agreement, the satellites will investigate their own sewers over the next several years to determine where excess storm water and ground water enters their systems and develop plans for correcting any deficiencies. Each community will submit its evaluation study plan within six months. This work also will help EORWA meet its own obligations to address sewer overflows under an existing consent decree with the state of and thereby improve water quality in the region.

Issuance of each of the satellites’ agreements can be appealed to the Environmental Review Appeals Commission (ERAC). Generally, appeals must be filed within 30 days of official notice of these final actions. Ohio EPA recommends that anyone wishing to file an appeal contact ERAC online or at (614) 466-8950 for more information.
More information about sewer overflows, how they impact the environment, why they are a concern, where they are located in Ohio and what is being done to address their impact is on Ohio EPA’s website. The 1997 agreement with EORWA and the new agreements with the satellites may be viewed at Ohio EPA's Southeast District Office, 2195 Front St., Logan, by first calling (740) 385-8501. The satellite orders also are online.


The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency was created in 1972 to consolidate efforts to protect and improve air quality, water quality and waste management in Ohio. In the past 40 years, air pollutants dropped by as much as 90 percent; large rivers meeting standards improved from 21 percent to 89 percent; and hundreds of polluting, open dumps were replaced with engineered landfills and an increased emphasis on waste reduction and recycling. Ohio EPA -- 40 years and moving forward.

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