The Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati (MSD) is the publicly-operated wastewater utility serving most of Hamilton County as well as parts of the three adjacent counties of Butler, Clermont, and Warren in Ohio. It has a ratepayer base of approximately 230,000 residential and commercial users and operates seven major wastewater treatment plants and more than 120 pump stations. MSD provides sewerage collection and treatment services to an area covering approximately more than 290 square miles, containing over 200,000 separate sewer connections which tie into approximately 3,000 miles of sanitary and combined sewers.
Combined Sewer Overflows
The sewers built in the older portions of our community carry both sewage and storm water in the same pipe. Known as combined sewers, they comprise about 40% of our current sewer system, some of which are over 180 years old. During heavy rains, combined sewers are often filled beyond their capacity. To relieve pressure on the sewer line and prevent street flooding and sewage backups into buildings, combined sewers were designed to overflow directly into local streams and rivers through outfall structures known as combined sewer overflows or CSOs. At the time they were built, CSOs were an acceptable way of handling excess flows, but their environmental impacts are now controlled under the federal Clean Water Act.
Operational Optimization Opportunities
MSD is committed to meeting or exceeding our CSO reduction targets and to integrate water quality with water quantity solutions. The sewer district is already implementing an innovative capital improvement process that applies a watershed approach and is adding innovative operations to maximize the existing assets and minimize impacts on the receiving streams. MSD’s Watershed Operations Division champions these optimizations through its mission to ‘Improve Water Quality through Operational Optimization at the Lowest Cost’.
How You Can Help
MSD is intent on finding innovative solutions to this extraordinary challenge. If you have innovative ideas or cutting-edge technology solutions in the following areas, please click below and log-in to learn more about how you can help!