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September 14, 2016
For Immediate Release
Kevin Maynard
Director of Utilities
Phone: (513) 785-7200
City of Hamilton to Hold Public Information Meeting and Propose New Program to Mitigate Flooding Issues Stemming from Heavy Rains
Hamilton, Ohio -  Last week the City of Hamilton experienced two significant rainfall events over a period of less than 72 hours. Late in the evening on Thursday, September 8, Hamilton received three to four inches of rain over a period of less than four hours. Approximately 36 hours later on the afternoon of Saturday, September 10, the City received an additional 1.5 inches of rain in less than two hours. Due to excessive rain and the already saturated ground, the City of Hamilton received multiple reports of localized surface flooding and water in basements again on Saturday, September 10.

During both rain events, City crews were dispatched immediately to investigate calls from customers and to provide assistance and recommendations to affected property owners.  The City of Hamilton understands the frustration of residents who experienced flooding on their properties on multiple occasions over this three-day period. While residents' frustrations are warranted, it is also important to note that these two storms were significant acts of nature beyond the City's control and would stretch the capacity limits of any municipality's utility infrastructure. Multiple jurisdictions in the greater Cincinnati area also reported localized flooding on September 8 and September 10.

Despite these extreme acts of nature, the City of Hamilton is not willing to stand by idly and allow these localized flooding events to continue without corrective action. Since June, City  staff has been conducting smoke and dye testing at residences in the Highland Park area to identify improper "clean water" connections such as downspouts, drains and sump pumps which are likely contributing to water in basements during heavy rain events.   City Crews also investigated Two Mile Creek to remove debris from bridges which was impeding the flow of the creek.

In addition to the investigative actions conducted, City staff plans to  propose a sanitary sewer check-valve reimbursement program to Hamilton City Council.  While all the details of the program have not been finalized, the program would reimburse residents, up to an approved dollar amount, for the installation of a sanitary sewer check valve.  During significant rainfall events, the check valve is designed to close, thereby preventing combined stormwater and wastewater from entering a homeowner's basement.  

The City of Hamilton will host a public information meeting on Wednesday, September 21 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Hamilton High School auditorium for residents impacted by the recent weather events.  During this meeting, the City will provide information on what actions are being taken, planned actions, document residents' wet basement information, gather resident contact information, and provide more details on the proposed check-valve installation program.

The City of Hamilton is committed to identifying the causes and  corrective actions to mitigate these issues in an effort to protect local residents' investment in their properties.  The City is moving as expeditiously as possible to provide solutions. We sincerely appreciate your patience and cooperation as we continue to work towards resolutions for these issues.

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About Hamilton, OhioLocated on the Great Miami River in the heart of the Cincinnati-Dayton metroplex, Hamilton is a historically-significant city with approximately 63,000 residents. Home to Miami University Hamilton and the County Seat of Butler County, Hamilton is the area center for government, finance and industry. Known for its unparalleled art, cultural & recreational activities, Hamilton is continually expanding its quality of life offerings. An award winning community, Hamilton was the recipient of the 2010 & 2015 Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting "Best Water in the World" award, the winner of the 2012 "Best of the Best" award by the Ohio Section of the American Water Works Association, the prestigious 2010 Public Gas System Achievement Award and five consecutive Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3) Platinum level awards. Additionally, the Hamilton City School District was named The National School District of Character for 2012. For more information, please visit