I have blogged on several occasions over past three years about the EPA mandated Long Term Control Plan (LTCP) necessary to reduce Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs) into the Great Miami River. The Consent Decree agreement was entered into Federal Court and became final and effective on 4/12/18.
The City is now required to begin implementation of the LTCP. The first project identified in LTCP consist of construction of a storm sewer to intercept a small portion of the flow from the Bulls Run stream where it enters the combined sewer system near the intersection of Sheldon Road and Santa Fe Drive. This intercepted flow will be redirected to a shallow green infrastructure basin (approximately one acre in area) located at Sunset Park, reducing storm water loading to the combined sewer system.
I have received several questions and concerns about this project and the impact it will have on the Park. I will attempt to answers those the best I can, keeping in mind we are at the beginning stages of the process.
First, “Why Sunset? Why not put it somewhere else?”. From an engineering perspective, it is a prime location due to fact that it sits near the border where the sewer system transitions from separate to combined. This allows us to capture and retain storm water before it enters the combined sewer system thereby reducing the chance for an overflow downstream. The alternative would involve acquiring private property, demolishing structures and additional sewer infrastructure all of which would likely cost millions $ more.
Second, “Will this be a nuisance and safety issue?”. Our goal is to integrate this project into the existing park setting in an aesthetically pleasing manner by incorporating landscape and hardscape features that will enhance the overall park character. The existing playground equipment will be replaced with new, up-to-date equipment if impacted. The basin will be designed to meet or exceed all engineering safety standards and to minimize the potential to remain wet after rain events to avoid increased mosquito issues. To this end, the City has hired Williams Creek/V3, an ecological engineering and design firm that specializes in green infrastructure and sustainable project design. This will not be a traditional detention basin like you see in other parts of town. The City understands this is a highly visible and highly used area and will create an annual operations and maintenance plan to keep the basin looking good and functioning as designed.
Third, “When will this happen?”. As I mentioned earlier, we are in the early stages of planning and design. Surveying crews have been out over the past week or so gathering data. The planning and design process will take most of this year. Actual construction won’t likely start until early 2019.
Finally, “How can I get more information?”. The City will hold at least one public meeting onsite to provide additional details about the project when available and answer questions. I don’t know the exact date yet; but it will likely be later this summer. I will keep you posted. We also created a webpage dedicated to the Consent Decree agreement that will include updates about this and other LTCP projects.