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Protecting Homes from Sewage Backup - Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati's Water in Basement Prevention Program

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Many customers of the Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati (MSDGC) have experienced basement backup due to surcharging of the sanitary and combined sewer systems. The surcharging was caused by excessive infiltration and inflow entering the sanitary sewer system and a lack of capacity in the combined sewer system. As part of the Consent Decree that MSDGC signed with the USEPA in 2003, a Water in Basement Program was developed. The Program has three components; these are the Basement Cleanup, the Claims Process and the Water in Basement Prevention Program.

The goal of the Water in Basement Prevention Program (WIBPP) was to isolate the affected homes from the sanitary and combined sewer system. The criteria for inclusion in the WIBPP were sewage backups from surcharging of the public sewer system. The possible solutions were backflow valves, whole house grinder pumps, basement only grinder pumps or ejector pumps. The District estimated that 1000 homes were experiencing basement backups and budgeted $37,000,000 for the WIBPP.

Five hundred homes participated in this program from January 1, 2004 to October of 2006. The program has now entered into a caretaker status where the solutions that have been installed will be maintained. Each home is tracked as a separate project with an individual design and construction of the solution. The costs are tracked by individual project. The WIBPP will continue as part of the Consent Degree. This paper will focus on the 500 completed projects and the lessons learned from working on private property and identifying and eliminating private property I/I as part of the overall solution.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: October 1, 2007

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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