Falling in love is a beautiful thing. But relationships take work, just like the work it takes to turn sewage into fresh clean lake water. The lessons here work for both.
  1. 1.
    Don't be afraid to confront a dirty past.
    All of us may have "yesterday's" we're not proud of. This undated Cleveland Plain Dealer photo by Marv Greebe was taken sometime in the 1960s, showing former PD reporter Richard Ellers on a trip along the (to put it mildly) polluted Cuyahoga River.
  2. 2.
    All new relationships require a thorough screening process.
    The first few dates are part of an evaluation. A screening, if you will. Wastewater needs screening too, to get the large floatable junk (like the photo) out of the flow and prevent blockages and equipment damage.
  3. 3.
    Your partner deserves primary treatment. Always.
    Put your significant other first. Treat them right. Primary treatment is the first stage of treating wastewater and without it, things can't be as pure as they should be.
  4. 4.
    Don't go to bed angry. Settle your differences and find clarity on important matters.
    Once the wastewater has been screened, the flow slows down in huge settling tanks so smaller particles can sink to the bottom and be collected. Clarity is critical in relationships, and cleaning sewage too.
  5. 5.
    A little bubbly is a great way to mark special occasions.
    We add air bubbles to wastewater to help good bacteria eat the biological material that needs to be removed. It's like a sewage celebration.
  6. 6.
    If arguments get heated, don't be too proud to admit you've acted like an ash.
    One of our treatment plants features a Renewable Energy Facility. It burns solid waste and uses the heat generated to produce steam, spin a turbine, and generate 25% of the plant's electricity. So heat is good, but don't be an ash.
  7. 7.
    Don't think you can't come back from being burned.
    Few people know the Cuyahoga River actually caught fire at least 13 times, most recently in 1969. http://neorsd.org/45years If we can come back from that, you can too.