Straight from the Tap

Cleveland Water is Prepared for Summer Water Quality in Lake Erie


The Cleveland Water system is designed with numerous layers of protection to help ensure only clean, safe drinking water reaches your tap. These advantages start with the location of where we draw water in from Lake Erie, extend to our four treatment plants, and continue throughout our delivery system.

All four of our water intakes are located far offshore and pull in water from far below the surface of Lake Erie. Deeper water is less impacted by pollution and harmful algal blooms (HABs) which, if present, are usually only in the surface layer of water. Since testing began in 2010, we have never detected cyanobacteria (more commonly called blue-green algae) toxins in lake water coming into any of our plants.

Our water quality and treatment experts track many parameters of Lake Erie’s water quality from monitoring buoys that transmit real-time water quality data. We also monitor data from sensors in our intake tunnels, NASA satellite imagery, and from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab (NOAA GLERL). We track all this data in real time to know what, if any, issues require adjustments in the water treatment process.

Our water treatment process has four lines of defense to remove cyanobacteria and the harmful toxins it can produce from the water. They include adding powdered activated carbon to absorb toxins; removing cyanobacteria in the coagulation and sedimentation process; filtering cyanobacteria from the water; and neutralizing toxins through chlorination. Each one of these four processes is considered an effective barrier at removing cyanobacteria and its toxins from water during the treatment process. Cleveland Water maintains all four processes at each of our plants as part of our normal water treatment process.

Having four independent water treatment plants and an interconnected distribution system are additional advantages of Cleveland Water. If one of our monitoring systems were to indicate a raw water issue that could pose treatment challenges, we can take that treatment plant offline and still pump potable water anywhere within our 640 square mile service area.

We all need a source of clean, safe, fresh drinking water to live. At Cleveland Water, we take great pride in being able to provide clean and safe drinking water to you. If you have questions about your water quality, please call our Water Quality line at 216-664-2639.