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April 2014 Chapter Event

Topic:      Presentation & Tour of MSD's Lick Run Project
When:      April 4: 1pm to 4pm
Where:     Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati (MSD)                                          Administration Building1085 Woodrow Street, Cincinnati, OH  45204 
                 Room 106

This meeting began with an overview by MSD's Deb Leonard about Cincinnati's "combined sewer overflow" (CSO) issue.  MSD is under a federal mandate to reduce CSOs into local streams and rivers.  CSOs occur when the capacity of combined sewers (which carry both sewage and stormwater in the same pipe) is exceeded during rainstorms.  About 11.5 billion gallons of raw sewage - mixed with stormwater - overflow each year.  MSD's solution is Project Groundwork, a multi-billion and multi-year program that includes hundreds of sewer and stormwater management projects.

The largest volume of CSOs are into the Mill Creek.  The Lick Run Project - part of MSD's Lower Mill Creek solution - will eliminate about 624 million gallons of combined sewer overflows (CSOs) into the Mill Creek each year and will also improve water quality, create new jobs and provide opportunities for neighborhood revitalization.

The project - located in South Fairmount and portions of Westwood, East Price Hill and West Price Hill -  will reduce CSOs by decreasing the amount of stormwater entering the combined sewer system during rain storms. The Lick Run Project is comprised of 12 separate projects to collect stormwater from the Lick Run watershed and convey or carry it to the Mill Creek.  Technical details were presented by project engineer Dave Hafner.

After the presentation there was a lively discussion about how and how much Hamilton County residents and businesses will eventually pay in increased sewer charges to recover project costs, including longterm system maintenance.  We learned many of those details are neither known or estimated at this time.

After the in-house program, we were given a tour of the project, also including a visit to see a real-time sewer overflow since there had been 2 prior days of heavy rain.  Then we toured the watershed area to see some completed and in-progress work, also to see where future work will occur.  The project includes a mix of new "green" and "gray" infrastructures.  Green infrastructures include stream reconstruction and restoration, wetlands, bioswales, raingardens, stormwater detention basins and other more natural solutions.  Gray infrastructures include new stormwater sewers and other more traditional solutions. The central element of the Lick Run Project is an urban waterway or Valley Conveyance System (VCS) through the heart of South Fairmount.  The other 11 projects will convey stormwater to the urban waterway.

DRIVING DIRECTIONS to MSD Administration Building:  

Woodrow St runs north off Gest Street, which is a major east-west street just north of and parallel to US-50 (aka "6th St"), between I-75 and lower Price Hill.  


•  Driving I-75 south from locations north of downtown Cincinnati, take Freeman Ave exit 1F, toward US-50 W.  After 0.2 miles, turn right onto Gest St.  Go 0.9 miles then turn right and go north on Woodrow St.  1085 will be on your left.  Visitor parking is available adjacent to the building.  


•  Driving I-75 north from Kentucky, immediately after crossing bridge over Ohio River, exit right on US-50 W/6th Street via exit 1D, toward River Rd.  After 1.5 miles turn right and go north on Evans St.  After 0.5 miles turn left on Woodrow St.  1085 will be on your right.  Visitor parking is available adjacent to the building. 

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