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Saturday, May 23, 2009

Sanitation District 1's 20 Year Plan & Fort Thomas

You may have seen recent stories about Sanitation District 1's $450 million 20 year plan. It feels a bit overwhelming when you think of the dollars involved but I thought it could be good to give a brief summary of the plan's impacts in Fort Thomas. Sanitation District 1 has published the plan, all 148 pages, online and I thought I would point out a few items that are of interest to Fort Thomas.

  1. System-wide Green Projects (Section 7.2.2 - page 46) For those interested in implementing some green techniques at your home SD1 provides Rain Barrels or "Raintainers" for $125. They have distributed over 170 of these containers since the program started. Other green options included in the plan are incentives for creating a "Green Roof". The plan is described as
    Based on this evaluation, SD1 will develop an incentive program that will reimburse building owners in the combined system a portion of the cost to construct a vegetated roof based on the amount of storm water removed from the CSS. The subsidy will be based on anticipated benefits to SD1.
    Lastly, SD1 also plans an "Urban Reforestation Program" which is described as
    Based on the estimated benefits that trees provide to SD1 and the community, SD1 is allocating funds annually to promote and enhance tree planting programs throughout the community, with a focus on the combined sewer system. The program will include financial assistance to a variety of programs ranging from sapling give-aways to cost sharing in urban streetscape programs.
    I would like to see Fort Thomas and its organizations take advantage of this, perhaps it could cut down on a small portion of the tax payer dollars required to enhance the Midway street scape.
  2. Licking River Siphon Sewarshed (Section 7.3.5, page 79) - I am no geologist or hydrological engineer but what I can glean from this section is that there can be significant backups of runoff from this area into the Licking. This area encompasses a fairly significant portion of central and south Ft Thomas. I will leave my summary of this section at that and move on to specifics in the following points....
  3. Vernon Lane (Section 7.3.7, page 81) - the report characterizes the area as 'a significant public health risk'. The report goes on to say:
    SD1 therefore conducted detailed public and private smoke and dye testing. The testing revealed a significant number of public and private sources of inflow and infiltration (I/I). The picture below shows properties with area tied to the sanitary sewer in color. The shade of the color correlates to the estimated drainage area tributary to the sanitary sewer. The darker the color the greater amount of area tied into the sanitary sewers. The stars represent locations where indirect cross-connections between the storm and sanitary sewers were identified. Considering the clear objectives laid out by SD1, the most beneficial action in the first five years is to conduct public and private I/I removal activities in the Vernon Lane Priority Area with the goal of eliminating the two public health risk recurring SSOs in a typical year.
  4. Taylor Creek Priority Area (Section 7.4.4, page 101) - this encompasses a major part of Bellevue and North Fort Thomas. Some of the current projects in place that will benefit this plan include: The Donnermeyer sewer improvements (will reduce basement flooding along Covert Run), The Newport Pavilion development, and the Bellevue Relief Sewer (should eliminate basement flooding along Waterworks)
These actions taken together should have a positive impact on Fort Thomas and the ground and water quality of the city's environment.

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