Billion Dollar Sewer Back-Ups

Of the 3,000 miles of sewage and combined storm water pipes in Hamilton County the Metropolitan Sewer District is aware of more than 300 chronic back-ups they don't have money to fix. That means in the coming years sewage bills could go up 8% every year. A legal agreement between MSD, the Department of Justice, and EPA requires the expenditure of up to $1.5 billion dollars in system corrections by 2022. Mt. Auburn resident Valerie Price can't wait that long. At her house because of raw sewage backups when it rains it stinks. Price tells FOX 19, "Raw sewage comes into my basement every time it rains hard. I've had clothes and appliances ruined by sewage back-ups." The MSD Director, Bob Campbell, knows it happens and is working to do what he can with the money he has. Campbell says, "We need to get the word out. We need to educate the citizens of what we're doing why we're doing it and really how much it's going to cost." Early next year the public will have the chance to comment on what needs fixing and potential rate increases. A popular but unpassed piece of legislation in the US Senate promises federal grant money for cities needing sewer upgrades.