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Councilmember optimistic about deal to replace aging, cracked Muddy Creek sewer pipe

Posted at 4:34 PM, May 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-12 20:51:17-04

GREEN TOWNSHIP, Ohio — The Muddy Creek project, something the Metropolitan Sewer District has called a “critical need,” is still stalled as Cincinnati and Hamilton County work to come to an agreement.

Councilmember Greg Landsman says that a deal is close to being reached on this project and that it will move forward soon, but the county is still asking questions.

And because Hamilton County has control here, MSD cannot move forward until the county commission gives the go-ahead.

“I’m optimistic for the first time in a long time,” Landsman told WCPO.

The city and county have been at odds for years over how to fix the cracked, aged sewage pipe in Green Township that dumps millions of gallons of sewage into Muddy Creek every year.

MSD Director Diana Christy agrees the project is an environmental priority and says there seems to be more consensus around the project. That includes the need to replace the pipe -- not repair it -- and that it needs to be moved out of the creek bed.

But she says the county still has questions about potential new overflows caused by a bigger pipe.

An older report by MSD given to the county stated replacing the pipe would do that, but it now says it can prevent any new overflows from happening.

“The system has gotten better,” Landsman said. “There is less groundwater going into the system, and technology has improved. So we know that we can reduce overflows, and I think we are very close to convincing those that need to make this decision, that that’s true.”

County Commissioner Denise Driehaus says she is also optimistic that after one more meeting, they can move forward. She says the county still needs to see the MSD data that proves no new sewage overflows will happen, something she says is essential for the county to green light this project.

Landsman said that needs to happen because the longer the project drags on, the more money is spent on consultants.

At a time where both Cincinnati and Hamilton County are furloughing workers, he’s not okay with that.

“At this point, we need to move forward,” he said.