September 9, 2016 


The City of Hamilton experienced another significant rainfall event late Thursday evening, with the National Weather Service recording more than three (3) inches of rain in less than three hours, and other locations reporting more than four (4) inches of rain. Due to the excessive rainfall, localized street flooding occurred in several areas of the city including, but not limited to Highland Park, Gordon Avenue, Eaton Avenue, Symmes Avenue, Rhea Avenue, and Ross Avenue. City crews dispatched early this morning to address resident concerns, as well as issues such as: debris on streets, missing manhole covers, and obstructed sanitary sewer pipes, catch basins, and storm sewer pipes.  

If residents experienced sanitary sewer backups in their basements related to this rain event, please call (513) 785-7550 and select option 5 or use our 311 Service Request system to report them. City staff will investigate as soon as possible. If property was damaged due to sanitary sewer backups, residents may download an insurance claim form and submit it to the Department of Public Utilities at One Renaissance Center, 345 High Street, Suite 520. Please make sure to include any necessary invoices, estimates and/or receipts pertaining to the property damage. 

As you know, severe weather events will continue to happen. We are actively pursuing measures to abate these issues, particularly in areas that are broadly impacted more frequently. Since the June 2, 2016 flooding event we have been aggressively investigating our storm and sanitary sewer systems. These efforts have been to determine both the cause of the ponding at the Main Street/Lawn Avenue area during and following a heavy rain event as well as possible solutions. Our Public Works Department has been working with an engineering firm to develop the best solution. 

For the last two months the City has been performing smoke and dye tests in the Highland Park area in an attempt to identify "clean water" sources that can overwhelm sanitary sewers and lead to wet basement issues like those experienced by local residents on June 2, 2016, and again last night. As these sources are identified, the City will continue to work with residents to remove these clean water connections from sanitary sewers. 

I n the meantime, to offer a means of protection for residents that have persistently experienced wet basements during rain events, the City is developing a program to offer impacted residents financial assistance to install sanitary sewer lateral check valves. During wet weather events such check valves are designed to prevent combined wastewater and stormwater from entering basements through basement drains and other plumbing fixtures. All residents who experienced wet basement issues during the June 2 and September 8 rain events are encouraged to contact the City to report wet basement issues and to schedule a basement evaluation and dye test. To report wet basement issues, please call (513) 785-7550 and select option 5

Beginning Monday, Rumpke will pick up additional debris along their normal routes in the impacted areas. City crews will also assist in this cleanup effort. If possible, please put smaller debris in a trash bag for pickup. 

The City of Hamilton is committed to addressing stormwater and sanitary sewer infrastructure issues in the most timely and effective manner possible. We kindly ask for your continued patience as we work diligently through these issues. City staff will provide further status updates at City Council meetings.

Joshua A. Smith
City Manager

# # #

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 2012 "Best of the Best" award, by the Ohio Section of the American Water Works Association, for the best tasting tap water in Ohio, the 2010 Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting "Best Water in the World" award, the prestigious 2010 Public Gas System Achievement Award, and four 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