Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Master's Report

Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Engineering Science (MS)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Advisor 1

Martin Auer

Committee Member 1

David Watkins

Committee Member 2

Pengfei Xue


The city of Cleveland, OH, and the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District are in the process of an ambitious engineering project designed to reduce the amount of untreated wastewater that is discharged into Lake Erie and its tributaries. The project involves the construction of seven tunnels that will intercept combined sewer overflows for transport to wastewater treatment plants, along with upgrades to the treatment capacity of these plants. This report will examine the water quality impacts of this project, as well as the impact of six additional proposed management options, on the streams of Greater Cleveland and the Lake Erie nearshore. Impact will be quantified using metrics developed here for total ammonia nitrogen, total phosphorus and E. coli based on standards set by the United States and Ohio Environmental Protection Agencies. Two mathematical models (SWMM for tributaries and SWMM/FVCOM for the Lake Erie nearshore) will be used to simulate water quality conditions for baseline conditions and under potential management options. Ultimately, this model-based approach will be able to pinpoint which management options are most effective in terms of their water quality impact, as well as where the potential trouble spots are located for pollutant concentration guideline exceedances.