CLEVELAND - It's now safe to dive back in Lake Erie at Edgewater Beach after it was closed to swimmers for several days following an overflow of sewage. The news comes right as thousands of some of the best athletes in America arrive in Cleveland for a national triathlon.
"I'm 70 years old," said Sandra Holben, "I've been doing triathlons, mostly Olympic distance, since 2002. It's really exciting to be here in Cleveland because I've been working all year for this race."
The USA Triathlon National Championships are set to pump in more than $ 6 million dollars to the city, according to organizers. The latest scare with water quality after heavy rain was nerve-wracking.
"We were keeping a close eye on water quality just testing continuously making sure we had the all clear by the time we were putting swimmers in the water," explained Caryn Maconi of USA Triathlon.
Even swimmers arriving from as far as California, say the warnings about the water concerned them.
"Worried because I've been at a lot of races where the swim has gotten cancelled for various reasons," said Mark Kolding, competing from California, "So not having a swim would be disappointing because we spend a lot of time in the water swimming."
According to the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District approximately 130,000 gallons of combined sewage flowed in Lake Erie. The sewer district predicts water quality at Villa Angela Beach will remain poor Thursday, news beachgoers say they anticipated.
"We saw the warning and I told them not to go near the water. We could walk on the sand, but don't go anywhere near the water," said Kim Brewer at Villa Angela Beach.
Despite the close call this year, officials say they will be back to host in Cleveland in 2019 marking a second time since the 90's. Organizers say more than 5,000 athletes along with their family and friends are expected to attend both Saturday and Sunday.