The City of Hamilton operates the wastewater system for the City and a portion of the surrounding area, and is subject to environmental regulation by Federal and State authorities. For example, the City is authorized to discharge affluent from the Water Reclamation Facility (WRF) into the Great Miami River in accordance with its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit.
Due to a number of factors, including the age of the wastewater system and former construction practices that placed stormwater into the sanitary collection system, Hamilton has experienced inflow and infiltration, as well as stormwater overflows, not unlike many similar communities throughout the United States.
2007 Modified Consent Order
In response to a Consent Order issued by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA), the City has made major improvements to the wastewater system related to the elimination of a majority of the discharges from overflows. The City also proposed a modification to the original Consent Order, and in January 2007, the City and the Ohio EPA entered into a Modified Consent Order to address the remaining Ohio EPA issues with the City’s wastewater system.
The Modified Consent Order required the City to file a number of reports with the Ohio EPA, including a System Evaluation and Capacity Assurance Plan (SECAP) with an implementation schedule. The SECAP was submitted in December 2007, reviewed and approved by the Ohio EPA in July 2009, and amended in 2012 due to the closure of the two paper mills located in Hamilton.
Sewer Interceptor Project The Sewer Interceptor Project (SIP) is part of the SECAP, the City’s master plan for the wastewater system. The intent of the SIP is to ensure the wastewater system has the ability to process and discharge treated wastewater in compliance with Ohio EPA standards.
The SIP will help prevent overflow of the sanitary system during heavy rain events, when sewage overflow can increase by as much as four to six times the normal rate. During heavy rain events, wastewater will be rerouted into the SIP where it can be stored until the WRF is able to process it.