West Side Homeowners Tired Of Overflowing Sewers, Flooding

Mar 22, 2017

The Metropolitan Sewer District is being asked to buy several homes on the west side because of flooding and sewer backups.

MSD's system handles both storm runoff and sewage. Some residents along Muddy Creek Rd say that means when it rains, they're stuck with sewage backups and overflowing.

Theresa Bellman say she's been through three floods since 2003.

“The first flood got as far as the first basement step. Three and a half years ago, I had between three and four feet and now I’ve reached over five feet. Everything new that I had from three and a half years ago, heater, hot water heater, washer and dryer, have all been scrapped.”

Bellman says storms on March 1 put 61 inches of water in her basement.

She is one of several people asking MSD to buy their homes. “In my conscience, I could not sell this house to someone else knowing what I know what might happen with them.”

Flood waters in a basement of a home along Muddy Creek Road.
Credit Bill Dattilo

Bill Datillo says 16 homes have repeatedly been flooded by the combination sewers in the area. He says the MSD sewer backup program isn't working for them.

“The damage to our homes has exceeded the value of our homes. This has been happening for quite a few years. We’ve been dropped from our insurance companies due to the sewage backups. We’ve lost tens of thousands of dollars in property values, and we’ve lost the ability to sell our homes,” Datillo says.

Hamilton County Commission President Todd Portune says MSD has bought homes that were subject to repeated flooding, but doesn't know if they have purchased so many in one location before.

MSD spokeswoman Deb Leonard says the District "has purchased a few properties with a history of repeated sewer backups where no feasible cost-effective solution or alternative existed. The portion of the Global Consent Decree that outlines the Sewer Backup Program provides for this and purchases were made with program funds."

She says the agency has also purchased some homes using grant funds from the Ohio Emergency Management Agency.