After years of delays, policies governing water treatment in construction projects are expected to be formally approved tonight by Summit County Council.
The rules cover the quality of water in construction areas in unincorporated areas larger than an acre but also extend to projects where work could be done at later dates.
The delays were attributed to having three different county engineers since 2003, other personnel changes and new editions of technology manuals with new rules.
“Better late than never,” said Cindy Fink of the Summit Soil and Water Conservation District.
That agency has worked with the Summit County health department and the engineer’s office to ensure the rules will be followed and those affected by them informed.
Pamphlets and workshops to explain the regulations are in the works.
Larger cities — such as Akron, Cuyahoga Falls, Green and Stow — have already adopted and are enforcing similar rules and guidelines.
At issue is runoff from developments and its impact on area streams, storm sewers and ditches.
“Every time it rains these runoffs get into our streams,” Fink said. “The EPA has taken care of requirements for industrial pollution, but is now looking at runoffs in communities.”
The water quality requirements stem from the Clean Water Act of 1972. The federal mandates were passed down to the state, then passed on to the local level.
“The Clean Water Act mandates that we keep surface water safe,” Fink said.
Last week the County Council’s Public Works Committee recommended passage of the ordinance.
Marilyn Miller can be reached at 330-996-3098 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.