Massive overhaul underway for Cincinnati sewers - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Massive overhaul underway for Cincinnati sewers

Crews are working on massive upgrades to the city's sewer system. (FOX19 NOW) Crews are working on massive upgrades to the city's sewer system. (FOX19 NOW)
A recent water main break at Albert Sabin Way and Eden Avenue illustrates the need for sewer upgrades. (FOX19 NOW/Dan Wells) A recent water main break at Albert Sabin Way and Eden Avenue illustrates the need for sewer upgrades. (FOX19 NOW/Dan Wells)
CLIFTON, OH (FOX19) - Out of sight and often out of mind – it's a vast network of pipes, wells, and pump stations stretching from one end of Cincinnati to the
other.
 
Even though much of it is hidden beneath our streets and sidewalks, the city's water infrastructure plays a crucial role in public health, safety and economic well-being. Building, replacing and renewing this infrastructure is an ongoing mission.

That point was illustrated earlier this month when a large water main break closed the intersection of Eden Avenue and Albert Sabin Way.

FOX 19 Now found out the Greater Cincinnati Water Works has a plan to replace one percent of its distribution system annually to keep up with replacement of the aging infrastructure.  

That's a big job when you look at the numbers.
 
Water Works responds to and repairs more than 1,500 water main breaks per year in Hamilton County.  Cincinnati also has 400 miles of water line and more than 3,200 miles of water mains to maintain in Hamilton County.
 
And we're far from alone. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), much of the drinking water infrastructure across the country has reached the end of its useful life.
 
ASCE's "Report Card on America's Infrastructure" gives the country's overall water infrastructure a D grade. The report card notes that there are about 240,000 water main breaks every year in the United States.
 
Meanwhile, The Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati is under a federal consent decree that requires completion of 116 different projects that help to reduce combined sewer overflows and improve wastewater treatment operations.
 
Finally, for overall perspective:

Cincinnati has about 3,000 miles of sewers, 30,000 storm water inlets, 2 drinking water treatment plants, 7 wastewater treatment plants, more than 109 wastewater lift stations; more than 3200 miles of water mains,  12 ground storage water reservoirs, 13 elevated water storage tanks, 18 pump stations and more than 209 CSO storm water outfalls.
 

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