Did you know Ohio has over 1,000 combined sewer overflow points that threaten our public and environmental health everytime it rains? Our communities and cities are mandated to reduce sewer overflows under the clean water act. While this is a huge challenge for Ohio it can also be a great opportunity for sustainability.
Traditional sewers are costly to build, difficult to maintain, and are not adaptable to climate change. Worse yet they pump waste water with fossil fuels raising cost and carbon footprints. Green infrastructure, or low impact development, is a passive decentralized network that naturally manages stormwater, reduces flooding risk, improving water quality all while saving money. Green infrastructure projects foster community cohesiveness by investing public funds above ground instead of below.
Hamilton County (Cincinnati) has the most Combined Sewer Overflows in Ohio, with 14 billion gallons annually. They will soon decide between a grey or green approach to controlling combine sewers. Tell Hamilton County Commissioners and the Greater Cincinnati Metropolitan Sewer District to choose green infrastructure. Help them make the right choice!
Use the search box in the map to find a combine sewage overflow near you. Don't forget to send your message below!
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Green Infrastructure is Clean, Sustainable, and Affordable
Dear [Decision Maker],
The Greater Cincinnati area suffers from more combined sewage overflows than almost anywhere else in the country. Based on current estimates engineering a giant auxiliary sewer will place a tremendous financial burden on rate payers for generations. We can do much better. Communities across the country have implemented low impact best management practices or green infrastructure to control storm water. In recent years the US EPA has been more supportive of green approaches to reduce combined sewage overflows. Green infrastructure is decentralized, passive, adaptable, economical and provides eco-system services to improve water quality. The capital and operating cost of green infrastructure compared are often considerably less, up to 50%.
The Metropolitan Sewer District has provided two choices; grey or green, to reduce combined sewage overflows as part of the Lower Mill Creek Partial Remedy. While the preliminary findings report was broad, vague, and lacking in specifics, both options promise to reduce combined sewage overflows.However the sustainable or green infrastructure option will reduce capital cost, re-invest in neighborhoods, adapt to changing conditions, provide eco-system services, lower our carbon footprint, and reduce operating cost. While I lament the lack of green infrastructure in the green or sustainable option it still promises to be a better more cost effective solution.
I appreciate Hamilton County's resolution in support for green infrastructure, oversight of MSD, control of costs, and efforts to improve water quality. I urge MSD to be more transparent, share information in a timely way, and include citizens in substantive decision-making. Hamilton County is at a crossroads and the choice you make now will influence communities across Ohio that are facing similar decisions to invest in green infrastructure solutions. You have the unique opportunity to transform Hamilton County from a national leader in sewage overflows into a leader in sustainability. Please choose green.
Respectfully,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP]