green infrastructure and sewers

Green Infrastructure

Cincinnati has a sewage problem, with over 200 hundred combined sewer overflow points and hundreds of miles of streams that flow through sewers overwhelming the waste-water treatment plants. Sewer overflows violate the clean water act and we are required to repair and rebuild our outdated and failing sewer system. The Sewer District will be fined by the EPA if we fail to reduce sewage overflows. Many communities utilize their storm-water fees to incentivize homeowners to install green infrastructure like rain gardens or rain barrels. They also require storm-water management like rain gardens or swales for new construction and collect fees on large impervious surfaces.

Natural Solutions for Storm Water Runoff Workshop

FREE RAIN BARRELS to the first 40 people (one per household)

Wednesday, July 13, 2016 From 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM

College Hill Recreation Center – 5545 Belmont Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45224

All Welcome!

Invite your upstream and downstream neighbors!

Discuss your water problems with professionals in storm water management!


  1. Learn how to install a rain barrel!
  2. Learn how to get started on designing your own rain garden for your house!
  3. Learn about solutions that can naturally drain storm water and improve water quality!


Why else should you come?

* Join neighbors and be part of a greater solution to improving water quality and local streams.

* Find out how natural solutions can help to address our MULTI BILLION DOLLAR $ combined sewer overflow problems.

* Learn how to capture and use rain around your home.

* Learn how to reduce the excess water from your yard and street.

* and more!

If you cannot attend this event please take 5 minute survey, which will help us to better tailor a program towards generating more green infrastructure in our communities:

2016 Green Infrastructure Survey

Web survey powered by Create your own online survey now with SurveyMonkey’s expert certified FREE templates.




This event is being hosted by the Green Infrastructure Group, which includes members from organizations such as:  Communities United for Action, Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati, Civic Garden Center, Mill Creek Watershed Council of Communities, Green Umbrella, Hamilton County Planning + Development, OKI Regional Council of Governments, Sierra Club, ECO: Environmental Community Organization, Greenacres Foundation, and more.


For More Information, contact: Brian Wamsley or #513-946-4496

Sewer Rate Reform

Sewer rates must be fair and affordable for all residents. Cincinnati needs to change the outdated rate structure and its failing sewer system. Currently residential customers are paying 75% of the cost of treating stormwater. Many large impervious surfaces areas pay nothing for the stormwater going to the MSD system.  MSD put this cost at $121,000,000 last year. If stormwater charge is not properly implemented and calculated, minimum charges for single families, duplexes and smaller apartments will continue to subsidize the facilities that have large impervious surfaces and the minimum charge will remain excessively high for many residents.


We need clean water, good jobs fixing our failing sewer system and fair rates.  Environmental Community Organization (ECO) urges the County Commission to adopt the following recommendations listed below.

  • Implement a stormwater charge/fee on impervious surfaces. This fee must be sufficient to cover the stormwater collection, storage and treatment costs ($121,000,000 in 2015) and include the properties contributing stormwater to the MSD system but not paying for the runoff from their properties.
  • Implement monthly billing without extra cost and have meters that must be read monthly.
  • Create an appeals process.
  • Offer an affordability program which includes a percentage discount for residents who qualify.
  • Reduce or eliminate volume allowance for the minimum charge and reduce minimum charge so people are charged only for what they use.
  • Eliminate the discount (lower rate) for the large volume water users.
  • Create incentives for green infrastructure such as rain barrels, rain gardens, pervious pavement, and water detention on site so that only minimum amounts enter the combined sewer system.
  • Reduce minimum charge for small meter sizes for residential customers through reallocation of the costs of storm-water treatment and other proven methods.
  • Express usage in gallons instead of cubic feet (CF).  Water meter sizes are not the most relevant way to assess sewer rates. Consider a progressive income tax for sewers.

Let the county commissioners know you want fair and affordable rates, good jobs fixing our aging infrastructure, and clean water.

 Contact your Hamilton County Commissioners, they set the sewer rates !


Dennis Deters 946-4406
Chris Monzel 946-4409
Todd Portune 946-4401

Feel free to pass out the Fair and Affordable Sewer Rates  page, add your own logo and let us know you are joining the effort!


Food Health and the Environment

Concerned about health, environment and climate change?

Join Sierra Club, PlantPure Nation and ECO for a free movie showing of PlantPure Nationplant pure


When: April 30, 2016, Saturday 3 p.m.

Where: First Unitarian Church , 529 Linton Street, Cincinnati, Ohio 45219    Parking is free and available across the street

vegan snacks will be served

Eating locally grown plant based food helps protect the environment, reduce greenhouse gases and very importantly, can greatly improve your health and even reverse diseases. This film shows the dramatic results when people change their eating and how hard this is being fought by the meat and dairy industries.

Preeti Bansal Kshirsagar, Plant Pure Nation – Regional Manager Midwest,

MPH – Human Nutrition and Public Health Genetics, University of Michigan will lead a discussion of plant-based eating.