Beaches back open after contamination concerns

CLEVELAND -- The beaches at Euclid State Park and Villa Angela were back open Friday, after contamination advisories that have stood for weeks this summer.

The problem, exposed by the Investigator Tom Meyer, is a nearby busted sewer pipe, still to be addressed.

THE INVESTIGATOR EXCLUSIVE: Raw sewage discharged at local beaches

A city letter Channel 3 News obtained is dated July 14, but property managers at the Euclid Beach Mobile Home Community told WKYC's Sara Shookman they still haven't received it.

"I've never seen that letter until you just showed it to me," said Michelle Orndoff, who has worked there for 13 years. She said she learned of the problem from Channel 3.

The broken pipe at Lincoln and Sycamore Street is carrying raw sewage into the storm sewer and out to Lake Erie.

"Absolutely whatever needs to be done will be done. I can guarantee you that Mr. Moore would have no intention of the park water ever being shut up for any length of time," said Ornoff.

The city gave the property owner, James Moore of Irving, Texas, 48 hours to come up with a plan. After that, the property is at risk of fines and a complete shut off of water and sewer utilities.

A spokesperson for public utilities said they talked to the property group Friday and scheduled a meeting to discuss a fix for Monday.

Residents in the mobile home community hope it is cleaned up quickly.

"Gosh I hope so. You know? What if we all start getting sick?" said Jeanne Murray, who has lived in the mobile home community for two years.

"That's got to be bad for everybody, not just us, but everybody in the city, because we all drink off that water," said resident Cigornai Sapp.

Bacteria levels at Euclid and Villa Angela beaches were safe for swimming Friday. But until this pipe is repaired, more contamination is just a rain away.

"That's disgusting," said Rachia Stephenson, who was at Euclid Beach with her three boys Friday. "It's not worth the risk regardless of what the signs say, I'd rather just kind of play it safe."

"I'm sure that this project will start Monday, as soon as we know exactly what we need to do," said Ornoff, about correcting the issue. She said they privately reached out to a plumber, who was expected Friday afternoon, to help determine how to make the repair.

Ornoff guaranteed WKYC the problem would be fixed before anyone who lives there was further affected.

Follow WKYC's Sara Shookman on Twitter: @SaraShookman


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