Business View Magazine | February 2019

151 T he City of Akron,Ohio was founded in 1825 along the banks of the Little Cuyahoga River at the summit of the developing Ohio and Erie Canal, and ever since, this “canal town”has been linked to these two waterways. In fact, the city was able to develop largely because its people and factories used the waters of the river and the canal as sources of power,modes of transportation, and, unfortunately, as dumping grounds for industrial and residential waste. Indeed,Akron grewwildly between 1910 and 1920,when its tire and rubber manufacturing plants gave the city the nickname “Rubber Capital of the World.” Akron’s sewer systemwas typical of many built in American cities in the first part of the 20th century, where water from storm drains that ran into under- ground channels combined with the sewage that flowed from domestic, commercial, and industrial sources.And in the early 1900s, that technology was considered a vast improvement over sewers that ran freely into natural waterways. But unlike modern sewer systems that separate storm runoff from sewage, these combined sewer systems were designed to overflow during heavy rains,with the expectation that rain water would, at least partially, dilute the sewage before it entered an outfall pipe and into the river. However, over the years, as the amount of storm runoff entering Akron's combined sewer system grew-mostly because of continuing urban devel-