Wastewater Safety

Sanitary Sewer Overflows

Sanitary sewer overflows can be caused by a number of factors, such as extreme weather events, line deterioration, debris in the line or other blockages. Overflows contain everything that goes down your drain – water from washing machines, dishwashers, sinks, showers, and toilets. Although the toilet water is diluted when combined with the other sources of wastewater, an overflow may still expose you to harmful bacteria. Avoid contact with sanitary sewer overflows. If contact with the wastewater cannot be avoided, wash thoroughly with soap and water to prevent illness. 

If you notice a sanitary sewer overflow, avoid the area and report the issue immediately by calling the City’s Emergency Utility Service at 513.785.7550 – available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

To reduce water in basement occurrences, Hamilton Utilities launched the Sanitary Sewer Inflow & Infiltration Program in July 2016. This program involves sanitary sewer smoke testing to identify and eliminate potential points of inflow and infiltration in the public portion of the sanitary sewer system, such as clean water connections, that could lead to high flows during storm and snow melt events. Learn more here

Stormwater Runoff

Stormwater runoff can also pose a hazard. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, stormwater runoff is the leading cause of water pollution as it washes everything from animal waste, pesticides, fertilizers, and other pollutants down drainage ditches and into creeks. Even if there were no sanitary sewer overflows in your area, do not let your kids or pets play in stormwater. If they do, wash thoroughly with soap and water. Also disinfect toys that fall in drainage ditches. 

To learn about relatively easy methods to reduce storm water runoff and improve storm water management and use on your property, such as rain gardens and rain barrels, view the City of Hamilton's Landscape Guide for Developers, Businesses and Homeowners