Hamilton Utilities Newsletter - In This Issue:
2016 Q2 in Review

The City of Hamilton and its partner American Municipal Power Inc. (AMP) hosted a dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony at the Meldahl Hydroelectric Facility on June 2, 2016. Now in full commercial operation, this 105 megawatt (MW) hydroelectric plant is the largest on the Ohio River. The City of Hamilton retains rights for a 51.4% share of the energy output, while AMP retains rights to the remaining output for other AMP members participating in the project.
The occasion also marked another significant event for Hamilton's electric customers. The Greenup Hydroelectric Facility is a 70.2 MW plant also located on the Ohio River that the City of Hamilton has owned and operated since 1988. When Meldahl entered full commercial operation, AMP purchased rights to 48.6% of Greenup's energy output from the City of Hamilton. Under the Meldahl/Greenup agreement, Hamilton will continue to operate both facilities. 

With completion of Meldahl and execution of the Meldahl/Greenup agreement, Hamilton owned and operated hydroelectric facilities now provide approximately 453 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of 
clean, renewable energy annually, enough to power approximately 45,000 homes. This represents approximately 50 percent of Hamilton's power supply portfolio. 

Meldahl by the numbers:
  • 428 construction jobs (peak) were created over the construction period.
  • 2,450,000 labor-hours were worked by contractors.
  • 1,141,877 cubic yards of earth excavated, equivalent to approximately 100,000 dump truck loads.
  • 114,389 cubic yards of concrete and 12,838,044 pounds of steel were used to construct the plant.
  • More than nine stories of the 10-story tall powerhouse substructure are under water.
  • 3 hydroelectric generating turbines, each with a rating of 35 megawatts (MW).
  • At peak flow, nearly 8.6 million gallons of water, enough to fill 13 Olympic-size swimming pools, will pass through each unit per minute.

LED Streetlight Conversion Master Plan

The City of Hamilton continues conversion of its approximately 9,000 incandescent  high pressure sodium (HPS) and mercury vapor streetlights to light-emitting diode (LED) streetlights. The City plans to replace all incandescent streetlights with LEDs over a 10-year period. 

In 2016, the second year of the program, City crews continue to replace incandescent streetlights with LED technology as maintenance issues arise. Additionally, the City utilized Xtreme Powerline Construction during the first two weeks of June 2016 to replace an additional 704 streetlights in the following locations:
  • Columbia Bridge, South B St., and Pershing Ave. between Front St. and Neilan Blvd.
  • Standen Dr. and Rowe Ct.
  • Symmes Rd. between Gilmore Rd. and Bilstein Blvd.
  • Bobmeyer Rd.
  • Gateway Dr. and Tylersville Rd. 
  • Hancock Ave. and Grand Blvd.
  • South Fair Ave. and Harmon Ave.
  • Knightsbridge Dr. 
  • St. Clair Ave.
  • Heaton St., Neal Blvd., and Joe Nuxhall Blvd.
  • Maple Ave. 
  • Black St. and North Second St. between Black St. and North Third St.
  • Stahlheber Rd.
  • Carlisle Ave. between Stahlheber Rd. and Sunset Dr.
  • Sunset Dr.
  • Eaton Ave. and NW Washington Blvd. between Eaton Ave. and Cleveland Ave.
  • South Washington Blvd. and Wasserman Rd.
  • Main St. between Eaton Ave. and Cereal Ave.
  • Columbia Rd., Hogan Dr., Jerdan Dr, and Westridge Dr.
  • New London Rd.
In 2015, approximately 1,202 incandescent streetlights were replaced with LED fixtures, resulting in an estimated annual energy savings of more than 602,800 kilowatt-hours (kWh). 

LED technology offers a substantial reduction in energy consumption along with improved service. LED streetlights consume approximately one-third of the energy required by incandescent streetlights and last three to four times longer, reducing maintenance costs and improving service. Furthermore,  LED technology offers improved lighting quality - colors are more easily distinguished and greater light distribution uniformity results in fewer hotspots and dark areas, and improved driver safety.

Utility Pole Assessment & Replacement Program  

Beginning in April 2016, the Electric Department and its consultant, Alden Systems, continued the survey and condition assessment of City electric utility poles which began in 2015. Alden Systems continues to assess the condition of each wooden pole, note items such as missing access plates and exposed wiring on non-wooden poles, and identify electrical safety issues. 

The survey includes approximately 24,000 poles across the electric utility service area, and is expected to be completed in Fall 2016. Service to City electric customers will not be impacted by the pole survey.

Additionally, Alden Systems staff is collecting Global Positioning System (GPS) location data on each pole, attaching identification numbers, photographing each pole, and recording all pole attachments for use in the Electric Department's Geographic Information System (GIS) and asset management system.
During the pole survey, Alden Systems representatives are working along streets and alleys and within the electric utility easements, including backyard electric easements. Survey vehicles clearly display Alden Systems and City of Hamilton Contractor identification. Clothing worn by Alden Systems representatives displays the firm's name and "Utility Inspection Contractor." Alden Systems staff also carry City of Hamilton Contractor cards for identification purposes. 

Utilizing the utility pole data collected by Alden Systems, the City is able to prioritize pole replacements and address any issues identified during the survey to help ensure the electric system remains reliable and safe. Midwest Powerline Inc. was awarded a pole replacement contract, and since April has replaced approximately 110 of 200 utility poles slated to be replaced in 2016.
Questions regarding the Utility Pole Assessment and Replacement Program can be directed to Patrick Moore, Hamilton Associate Electrical Engineer, at 513.785.7259, or via email at patrick.moore@hamilton-oh.gov.

Taft Place Electric Undergrounding Project

The Taft Place Electric Undergrounding Project consists of installing new electric conduit to replace existing, less reliable direct buried primary electric cables. The project will  increase electric system reliability for customers in Taft Place subdivision.

Amerilect Inc. was awarded the contract for this project in late 2015 and will continue installation of conduit by means of Horizontal Direction Drilling through August 2016.

Natural Gas Main Replacement Program

The 2016 Miscellaneous Natural G as Main Replacement project began in June 2016 and involves replacing just over 5,100 feet of existing cast iron and steel natural gas mains with new plastic mains on Curtis Drive, Eaton Avenue, Chase Avenue, South 13th Street, and Hanover Street. There will also be just under 90 residential and commercial natural gas services replaced during the project. This project is designed to help ensure continued reliable natural gas service for affected customers.

Water Main Replacements Program

T he 2016 Miscellaneous Water Main Replacements project began in June 2016 and consists of replacing approximately 2.8 miles of existing cast iron water mains with new ductile iron water mains. Just over 260 residential water services will also be replaced. This project will take place on Susan Drive, Ohio Avenue, Webster Avenue, Westbrook Drive, Hollow Tree Court, and in the Highland Park area. Additionally, the Pershing Avenue Water Main Replacement project involves replacing approximately 3,100 feet of water main on Pershing Avenue. 

Sanitary Sewer Repair and Lining Program

From January to April 2016 approximately 800 feet of aging sanitary sewer main was removed and replaced, along with six sanitary sewer manholes. Additionally, sanitary sewer lining work began in March 2016. The 2016 Sanitary Sewer Lining project includes lining approximately 10.5 miles of sanitary sewer main and reinstating approximately 1,520 sanitary sewer laterals at various locations through the city. 
The City of Hamilton recently hired Dave Bienemann as Municipal Arborist. In this role, Dave provides a high quality urban forestry program for the community, caring for city trees and managing the line clearance tree trimming program for the safe and reliable delivery of electric service to Hamilton electric customers. 

Hamilton's urban forest is estimated to include more than 10,000 trees in public parks and green spaces, and in the public right-of-way. This spring Dave oversaw the planting of 100 additional trees in the public right-of-way, including:
  • Bilstein Boulevard. - 10 trees
  • Hamilton Enterprise Park - 40 trees
  • Ohio Route 129 between Fair Avenue and Hampshire Drive - 20 trees
  • Neal Boulevard - 21 trees
  • Ohio Route 4 - 9 trees
Additionally, Dave serves as a local expert for Hamilton residents and business to offer advice and knowledge on private tree care.  Trees provide many benefits such as shade, beauty, windbreak, privacy, clean air, storm water management, noise reduction, wildlife habitat, increased property values, and energy savings from summer and winter extremes. However, the key to these benefits is selecting the right tree and planting it in the right place. The right tree in the right place can help reduce your home heating and cooling costs, reduce tree trimming and maintenance costs, and help avoid tree-related electric service interruptions. 

Check out this article from the Journal News to learn more about Dave and his role with the City of Hamilton.  Read More

Tree related questions or service requests can be directed to Dave Bienemann, Hamilton Municipal Arborists, at 513-785-7285, or via email at dave.bienemann@hamilton-oh.gov.

The City of Hamilton has partnered with U.S. Gain, the compressed natural gas (CNG) division of U.S. Venture, Inc., to add the GAIN® Clean Fuel brand to its fueling station. The City's current CNG-fueled vehicles continue to utilize the station, while the U.S. Gain partnership will drive national CNG fleets from GAIN's network to stop and fuel up at the City-owned station as well. 

Hamilton's CNG station is located at 2220 South Erie Boulevard, Hamilton, Ohio. Completed in 2014, it is the only public CNG station in the Cincinnati region. It is a self-service, commercial, fast-filling facility, and able to serve up to eight vehicles at a time. Read More

During the first week of May 2016, the City of Hamilton joined the American Water Works Association (AWWA) and other member communities in celebrating National Drinking Water Week, an annual event meant to recognize the vital role of water in our daily lives and how we can all play a part in keeping our water safe. This year marks more than 35 years that the AWWA has celebrated National Drinking Water Week. 

As part of the celebration, Hamilton Utilities hosted free tours of the South Water Treatment Plant on Friday, May 6. Nearly 100 people attended to learn about how Hamilton produces its award-winning water and to see the plant first-hand. Stephen Hudak, who brought a local Boy Scout troop to take the tour, had this to say, "Thank you for opening the South Water Plant up for tours! The Wolf Den from Pack 924 had a great time learning how the water makes its way to our homes! Thank you especially to Jean Piatt for helping us get scheduled, and John Bui for the great tour!"

On June 3, in celebration of Arbor Day 2016, City of Hamilton and Hamilton Utilities staff joined Hamilton Conservation Corps representatives and members of the public to plant 100 oak tree seedlings at the Riverside Natural Area.

The City of Hamilton Electric Department is a member of the American Public Power Association's Tree Power program. The 100 oak tree seedlings planted will count toward the Electric Department's goal of planting one tree for every electric customer and receiving the program's Golden Tree Award.
Helpful Resources
Water your lawn and garden only as needed. Most lawns receive twice as much water as they need. In addition to wasting water, frequent watering promotes unhealthy, shallow root development.

Water early in the morning to limit water loss due to evaporation. Also avoid watering on windy days.
Water in multiple short sessions rather than a single long session to allow better water absorption and less runoff.
Place an empty tin can in the watered area to measure the water applied. Three-fourths of an inch to one inch of water is sufficient each time you irrigate.

Use drip irrigation to water shrubs, flowers, and vegetable gardens. Less water is lost to evaporation using drip systems than spray systems. 
Assess landscape watering patterns to minimize spray on sidewalks and paved surfaces, spray blockage by plants or other obstructions, and runoff on slopes or clay soil.
Maximize the value of natural rainfall by capturing and recycling rainfall in rain barrels or buckets to water plants.
Also, keep these tips in mind to help reduce the amount of supplemental watering your lawn(s) and garden(s) will require.
  • Adjust your lawn mower deck to a height of two to three inches. Taller grass shades its roots and retains soil moisture better than short grass.
  • Leave grass clippings on your lawn to help cool the ground and retain moisture.
  • Reduce the amount of fertilizer applied during the summer months. While fertilizers promote plant growth, they also increase water consumption. 
  • Apply mulch to gardens and shrubs to reduce evaporation and weed competition. A two- to three-inch layer of mulch is most effective. Organic mulches also improve soil infiltration and water-holding capacity over time. 

For additional water conservation tips, visit WaterSense, a partnership program with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that provides information on smart water choices that save money and maintain high environmental standards.


Turn your thermostat up.  Set your thermostat to as warm as is comfortable when you are home and awake, and turn it up a few degrees when you are asleep or out of the house. Also consider installing a low-cost programmable thermostat.


Use ceiling and room fans to create air movement and cool a room. 


Close blinds when not at home to keep the sun from warming your house.


Turn off lights when exiting a room. Even consider relying on natural light alone during the day. 


Turn off and unplug electronic devices and chargers when not in use. Most electronic devices use electricity even when they are switched off.


Avoid running appliances during peak hours (3-6 p.m. on non-holiday weekdays) when possible, or any time an electricity emergency is declared.


Do laundry efficiently. Only run full loads and use cold water in the washing machine. 


Line-dry clothes. Dryers are often the biggest energy users in homes after refrigerators. If it is necessary to use the clothes dryer, only run full loads, use the moisture-sensing setting if available, and always clean the lint trap after each use. 


Turn off the heated dry cycle on your dishwasher and air dry dishes instead.


Shut doors and vents of unoccupied rooms to lighten the load on your air conditioning unit. 


Install Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CFLs) and Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs) to replace incandescent light bulbs. CFLs use 75% less electricity to produce the same amount of light as incandescent bulbs and last approximately ten times longer. 


Find and seal air leaks. Weather-strip, seal, and/or caulk leaky doors and windows, and gaps around chimneys. Also install foam gaskets behind outlet covers.


Maintain your heating and cooling system(s). Replace air conditioning filters once a month, and schedule service for your heating and cooling system(s) to find out what maintenance is required to keep the system(s) operating efficiently.


For a limited time, Hamilton electric customers can purchase discounted Greenlite CFL and LED bulbs at Pease Warehouse & Kitchen Showroom, located at 1780 South Erie Boulevard, Hamilton, Ohio 45011. CFLs last up to 10 times longer than incandescent light bulbs and can save you $30 or more over their service life. LEDs last up to 25 times longer than incandescent light bulbs and can save you $90 or more over their service life.  

Limit 8 bulbs per customer at discounted price, while supplies last. 

Check out this article from the Journal News about the program. Read More

Efficiency Smart offers a FREE meter loan service for Hamilton Utilities electric customers so that you can easily measure the electric use of appliances in your home. Test everything from your refrigerator to your entertainment system to discover what the biggest energy hogs are and make smart choices regarding energy efficiency upgrades. Visit efficiencysmart.org or call 877.889.3777 to learn more and to borrow and electric meter.
Need Assistance from the City?
Utilities Customer Service   513.785.7100
New Service, Move In / Move Out, Billing Inquiries
Power Outage                       513.785.7550
Natural Gas Leak or Odor    911
Water Leak                            513.785.7550
Streets & Sewers                  513.785.7550
Kevin Maynard
Public Utiliti es Director
345 High Street, Hamilton, Ohio
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