Another project delay is proving costly to sewer rate payers and allows pathogen laden sewage to continue to flow into our creeks and backup into homes and businesses.
The project known as Combined Sewer Overflow 513 (CSO 513) in Reading has long been slated for stormwater separation from the sanitary sewage pipes. The Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) agreed in 2018 under the Consent Decree to complete this separation project by the end of 2020.
There are about 200 combined sewer overflow sites in Hamilton County. When it rains, these sewers overflow at the overflow points along local rivers. Overall they discharge about 11 billion gallons of sewage and stormwater into rivers and streams each year.
CSO 513 has suffered various delays and deadlines have been pushed back. Not only is it still not finished, but the new deadline is March 2024 and the cost has gone up by $2,287,000. The total project cost for approximately 8,300 feet of new storm pipes is now $8,571,011 (estimate). The project is being rebid because, in part, supply chain issues and inflated cost. Had it been completed when MSD originally said they could, ratepayers would have saved money.
This pales however since we still don’t have a plan that is USEPA-approvable for Phase II of the Consent Decree. Little work beyond late projects is being done to stop sewer overflows and backups.
Funds for CSO 513 are expected to be approved soon by MSD.