LAKEWOOD, Ohio (WJW) – The City of Lakewood has agree to perform work that will reduce discharges of untreated sewage into Lake Erie and the Rocky River to the tune of millions of dollars.

The deal comes in the form of a partial consent decree with the Department of Justice. It requires that Lakewood complete construction of a high-rate treatment system and build two large storage basins.

Lakewood will spend about $85 million to improve its sewer system and pay a $100,000 penalty.

The city is accused of more than 1,900 discharges from January 2016 to now.

Mayor Meghan George is welcoming the court-enforced changes got what she describes as an outdated infrastructure.

“Many of our sewers are turn of the last century, so we have been working for years directly with the regulators on this issue. Federal policy requires a judicial consent decree for programs that last more than one year or over $1 million for overflows that aren’t permitted so this has all been known and part of the plan,” George said.

The mayor adds that water/sewer rates were raised back in 2018 in anticipation of the settlement.

U.S. District Court Judge Soloman Oliver must sign off on the settlement before it becomes official.

A series of public meetings are expected in the next 30 days before formal approval.