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Sanitary Sewer Inflow & Infiltration Project Status Update
The City of Hamilton is implementing a program to identify and eliminate clean water connections to the sanitary sewer system to reduce Water in Basement occurrences. Read this story for updates on current and past projects the City has implemented to address Water in Basement issues.

Hamilton, Ohio - During wet weather events such as those experienced in Hamilton on June 2 and September 8 & 10, 2016, rain water from improperly connected downspouts, sump pumps, and other sources can fill and overwhelm sanitary sewers. When this happens, combined sewage and rainwater may back up into customer basements (Water in Basements). The City of Hamilton is implementing a program to identify and eliminate clean water connections to the sanitary sewer system to reduce Water in Basement occurrences.


As a preventative remedy, City Council recently adopted legislation authorizing the payment of up to $2,500 to customers who qualify for a sanitary check valve installation. When installed, these check valves can prevent sanitary backups from flooding basements during heavy rains. The City will start sending out Check Valve Agreements to qualified customers this week. Customers will be required to sign and return the Agreement to the City to receive payment authorization for the check valve installation.


Smoke testing began in the Millville Avenue area on November 10. During smoke testing, City crews introduce smoke into sanitary sewers. Smoke may escape from building sewer vents, gutters and downspouts, or from the ground along sewer lines during testing and is not cause for alarm. Testing is performed during normal business hours (8 a.m. to 3 p.m.) weekdays.


Smoke testing was recently completed in the Highland Park area and all adjacent sanitary basins heading east to the Great Miami River. The City has smoke tested approximately 1,400 homes in these areas since this work began. Additionally, there are approximately 50 homes in the Highland Park area and approximately 200 homes in the Rhea Avenue area in which the City still needs customer access in order to visually inspect and dye test (sump pumps and drains).


To date, testing results have identified 28 homes with improper connections that include downspouts, sump pumps, or driveways draining into the sanitary sewer.


The City is planning to work with each customer where improper sanitary connections have been discovered. The City will be notifying these customers and will be providing assistance to help remedy the improper connections. Customers with questions or concerns are encouraged to contact Customer Service at 513-785-7100.


Other projects the City has initiated in an effort to mitigate sanitary sewer inflow and infiltration include:

  • Installation of 37 inflow watertight manhole lids in the Highland Park area, along Two Mile Creek, and other low elevation areas that have experienced flooding issues;
  • Repair of a broken storm main in the 400 block of Dick Avenue;
  • Lining two sections of sanitary sewer main at the intersection of Cleveland Avenue and Gray Avenue that have previously allowed inflow and infiltration;
  • Drafting a request for proposals to seek vendor bids for sanitary silt cleaning;
  • Installing sanitary flow monitors to collect flow data; and
  • Continuing work on all sanitary basins adjacent to the Ross Avenue area.