Consent Decree and Wet Weather Improvement Plan

MSD operates numerous combined and sanitary sewer systems that either, through design, or due to inflow and infiltration of stormwater are subject to overflow of discharge of untreated sewage into local waterways. MSD is by no means unique in this regard. Most large urban sewer systems contain assets built decades, if not a century, ago and were designed long before the development of modern treatment technologies and regulatory requirements. As a result of a federal lawsuit brought forth under the Clean Water Act the County and City, as owner and operator respectively, are now subject to a federal consent decree mandating the elimination and mitigation of sanitary and combined sewer overflows into local waterways.

The Federal Consent Decree, in turn, spawned the development of a Wet Weather Improvement Plan (WWIP) to address the requirements of the Consent Decree. The WWIP is divided into Phase 1 and Phase 2. Phase I of the WWIP contains a list of projects to be completed or planned by December 31, 2018. This initial work is expected to total approximately $1.4 billion which includes approximately $644 million in work completed prior to 2013. In 2017, MSD will submit a proposed schedule to address the requirements of Phase 2 which will include all remaining projects listed in the final WWIP. While a cost for Phase 2 is not yet known, it is anticipated that it could total in excess of $2 billion.

The work mandated by the Consent Decree and WWIP, to a large degree, will drive the capital expenditures of MSD over the next decade and, as a result, will contribute significantly to rate increases felt by the customer base of MSD over this time.

Hamilton County, as owner of the District, is the lead defendant in the consent decree matter. In this regard, the Board of County Commissioners has stated, unequivocally, that compliance with the requirements of the WWIP is an imperative. The Board has, however, been extremely active at the federal level in efforts to reduce the costs of compliance to local communities by obtaining the flexibility to implement WWIP requirements in a way which may be more cost-effective and sustainable - but which may not be consistent with the current regulatory approach to satisfying those requirements.

View the Hamilton County BOCC WWIP Phase 2B Proposed Plan Summary  

View the Hamilton County BOCC WWIP Phase 2A Proposed Plan  

View the Hamilton County BOCC WWIP Phase 2A Fact Sheet Part 1  

View the Hamilton County BOCC WWIP Phase 2A Fact Sheet Part 2  

Listen to the Hamilton County BOCC WWIP Phase 2A Public Hearing (6/5/18) Recording  

View the Hamilton County BOCC WWIP Phase 2A Schedule of Work Submittal  

View the Hamilton County BOCC Request to Extend 1968 MSD Operating Agreement  

View the Hamilton County Letter to Ohio EPA – Re: Phase 2 Wet Weather Improvement Program Schedule  

View the Ohio EPA Response to Hamilton County Letter – Re: Phase 2 Wet Weather Improvement Program Schedule  

Learn more about Consent Decree and Wet Weather Improvement Plan on MSD website