Straight from the Tap

10 Years of the Suburban Water Main Renewal Program

12/14/2017

In 2007, Cleveland Water partnered with the Suburban Water Council of Governments to launch the Suburban Water Main Renewal Program (SWMRP), with the intent to renew local water mains in direct service suburbs.

Before Cleveland Water established this program, the suburban governments within our service area owned water mains 20 inches or smaller in their respective communities. While Cleveland Water was responsible for the maintenance and repair of broken water mains, suburban communities were financially responsible for replacing or rehabilitating the infrastructure.

With the SWMRP in place, suburbs now have a mechanism to get their mains replaced at no direct cost to them. Projects are nominated by the respective suburban community and chosen based on an objective scoring model.

To join the program, suburbs must enter into a new Water Service Agreement (WSA) that transfers ownership of their distribution system to Cleveland Water. In addition, they must enter into a Municipal Utility District agreement with the City of Cleveland.

In return, Cleveland Water takes over the responsibility of performing capital improvements to the water distribution system in those suburbs. Since the program’s inception in 2007, Cleveland Water has facilitated substantial improvements to the water infrastructure throughout the 35 participating communities.

Accordingly, Cleveland Water has committed capital funds toward this program. Initially, $10 million per year was allocated for the first 10 years of the program. With growing demand for participation, Cleveland Water increased the amount to $15 million per year, totaling $122.3 million allocated over the past 10 years to renew 530,525 feet of water mains.

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