Fairport Harbor sewage spill caught on tape, Ohio EPA notified

Ohio EPA reports sewage made it into Grand River

FAIRPORT HARBOR, Ohio - The Ohio EPA confirms thousands of gallons of raw sewage poured out onto the ground in Fairport Harbor. Some of the sewage made its way to the Grand River, during a sewage spill last week.

The incident caught on video by former Lake County Utilities employee Jeff Gatchel.

"Whatever you can flush down your toilet, they're just deliberately pumping it onto the ground," Gatchel said.

Gatchel claimed Lake County Utilities need to do more to prevent future spills. 

"I grew up in this area. There is the pond where I used to fish. I used to ride my bike along these tracks," Gatchel said.

Gatchel said he believes Lake County Utilities should have brought out additional tanker trucks to handle the sewage overflow. Instead thousands of gallons ended up on the ground.

The Ohio EPA reported Lake County Utilities filed the proper incident report, but told NewsChannel5, if spills keep happening in that area, fines will be assessed and an action plan will be required.

Lake County Utilities Director of Waste Water Bob Shelby told NewsChannel5 he would look into how many tankers were sent to the scene of the spill.

Shelby confirmed the spill was caused after a sewer line break at Singer Avenue and 3rd Street.

"We're dealing with an aging system," Shelby said. "Some of these sewer lines are 80 years old."

Shelby said Lake County Utilities is in the midst of an extensive line test program and hopes additional grant money will rescue the aging Grand River system.

The Ohio EPA urged residents to report spills through its hotline, 1-800-282-9378, or through its website .

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