Category Archives: sewer rates

MSD would like to inform you that the Hamilton County Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) will conduct an additional public hearing to consider the Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati’s (MSD) recommended 2018-2022 Capital Improvement Program (CIP), 2017 Operating Budget, and a revised rate structure for sewerage service charges and surcharges.

There are two scheduled public hearings at the Hamilton County Administration Building, 138 East Court Street, Room 603, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202:

Wednesday, November 8, 2017 at 11:30 a.m.
Wednesday, November 15, 2017 at 11:30 a.m.

There is also a a public meeting where sewer rates will be discussed but it is not an official public hearing. It is scheduled for
Monday, November 13, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. at Communities United for Action (CUFA), 1814 Dreman Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45223

MSD’s annual capital improvement budget and annual operating budget are developed and recommended by MSD to the BoCC each year along with any rate or fee recommendations that support the budget proposal. The budgets and associated rate recommendations reflect the resources required to ensure full compliance with all regulatory requirements as well as to protect public health throughout Hamilton County.
View the Additional Notice of Public Hearing.

View the original Notice of Public Hearing.
MSD Communications
Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati

Say No to Another Sewer Rate Increase!


Are you tired of high sewer rates? Despite the lack of progress on court ordered improvements and failure to restructure the billing system, the Cincinnati Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) is asking for a 4.25% increase to your sewer bill.  We already have one of the most regressive rates in the country, raising the minimum charge on residential housing will only make it worse.  

Take a stand against the MSD Rate Hike, Send a letter today!

Last year we were successful at freezing rate hikes and recommending structural changes that would make the billing system fair, because people like you sent emails, made phone calls and testified at County Commissioner meetings.  Join your fellow Sierra Club members and let the Commissioners know how you feel about the rates.  

Take action today, send a letter  to the Hamilton County Commissioners!

We need to see a rate structure that reflects equity amongst all customers before rates are further increased. Together we can create change and implement a billing structure that is fair and incentivize water conservation, instead of rewarding the biggest water users with the lowest prices. 

Thank You for taking action,


placeholder_image Matt Trokan

Conservation Director

Sierra Club Ohio Chapter


MSD 2017 rate increase, capital and operating budget hearings

Hamilton County has announced public hearings on the rates, operating budget and capital budget.

Here are dates and ways to comment:

The Hamilton County Commission has announced that it will conduct public hearings on the Metropolitan Sewer District  (MSD) of Greater Cincinnati’s 2017 – 2021 Capital Improvement Budget, Operating Budget for 2017 and consider a revised rate structure for MSD service charges and surcharges.

The hearings are scheduled for Wednesday December 7, 2016, at 11:30 am and Wednesday December 14, 2016, at 11:30 am, 138 East Court Street, Room 603, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202.

Comments can be made at the hearing or in writing to the Clerk of the Board, [email protected]

Commissioners’ emails are [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

The files which MSD submitted to the county for the budgets and rates are here.   The MSD rate study is here: MSDGC-2016-Rate-Study-Draft-Final-Report_30SEP2016.pdf

The county monitor team and MSD have been working on the rates and budgets for almost 3 months now.  In September and October 2016, the commissioners passed several resolutions directing MSD and their staff to modify the rate structure or provide the necessary study/data to determine changes like stormwater runoff charges. But most of that work isn’t done and the most recent information is that MSD won’t have the billing system modified even by the end of the first quarter for the simplest changes.

So, we don’t know the how much the budget and rate documents have changed. The first rate increase documents indicated a 5.25 % increase; the rate study says 4.25%.  The county might be looking at 4%.  Muddying the waters further, the August 28 storm expected to total more than $20 million in damages, due to basement backups and sewer collapses. This impacted the MSD operating budget for 2016, probably reducing the amount of debt service paid.  The rate implications of that aren’t clear at all.

So despite the amount of information we have, it isn’t very clear, where this is headed.

coming changes to the MSD rate structure

County Commissioners begin addressing MSD rate structure

During September and October 2016, the Hamilton County Commission passed the following resolutions and requested that MSD begin implementation as soon as possible.

  • Billing residential customers monthly
  • Basing the multifamily billing on meter size rather than the number of units
  • Billing based on actual meter size rather than pipe size
  • Increasing awareness of lateral line insurance
  • Establishing a customer billing appeals process
  • Reducing the current monthly charge based on 5 ccf of water to 3 ccf.

The monthly billing will be based on 1/3 of the current quarterly billing for residential customers. This is a reduction from $59.54/month to $39.12. About 30% of customers use less than 5 ccf that was previously part of a monthly bill. That is they were paying for water discharged to the sewer system that they were not using.

More work is in progress. Each of the Commissioners’ resolution included setting up a framework to encourage the use of Green/Sustainable Infrastructure and reducing the inflow and infiltration of stormwater. The County Monitor Team is charged with working with MSD to get the necessary data to determine stormwater charges, and green infrastructure incentives. Separating the volume charge out of the minimum charge will likely encourage more water conservation and possibly non-potable water reuse. This will affect revenue – and some level of treatment costs. The Commission is discussing phasing in such changes so that the billing rate can properly reflect the needed revenue. Work is also being done on developing the low-income / hardship billing assistance.

Sierra Club supports addressing the stormwater charge and green infrastructure as soon as possible. We also support eliminating the volume discount that big industries get for use of large volumes of water.

Don’t Flush Rate-Payers Down the Drain!!

Tell Commissioners to Stop the Waste!!

Miami Group members, we need your support in standing up for fair sewer rates in Hamilton County. Together we have been successful at freezing rate hikes and recommending structural changes that would make the billing system fair.  While the County Commissioners have resolved to act on our recommendations the Metropolitan Sewer District is seeking a 5.25% rate increase for 2017.  Join your fellow Sierra Club members in letting the Hamilton County Commissioners know that there is still plenty of work to be done on our outdated sewer rate structure.

Take action today, send a letter  to the Hamilton County Commissioners!

The County Commissioners have recently passed resolutions that were recommended by the Rate Affordability task force, but there are still many recommendations that must still be passed.  We need to see a rate structure that reflects equity amongst all customers before rates are further increased. Together we can create a fair structure for our sewer bills.  

Thank you for taking action and for all you do for Ohio’s environment!