“The final turf restoration, landscaping and clean-up will take place in the spring of 2020,” he said.
MORE: Middletown is about to take the first step of a 25-year, $269M project
Tadych said a park reopening event will be held in early May 2020. The park has been closed since spring.
The project, which is one of several planned, includes constructing a storm sewer to intercept a portion of the flow from the Bulls Run stream where it enters the combined sewer system near the intersection of Sheldon Road and Santa Fe Drive.
City officials said the intercepted flow from the drainage area will be redirected to an approximately one-acre basin at Sunset Park, reducing storm water in the sewer system.
The new features are designed to not detract from the park’s character. It will also feature a cobblestone channel surrounded by aesthetic plantings to manage water quality and be bounded by a ledgestone seat wall and the planting of 40 new trees.
Under the agreement, the city will construct storage basins and other improvements to its sewer system and sewage treatment plant over 25 years that will reduce the frequency and volume of its untreated sewer overflows.
In December 2017, Middletown City Council approved the proposed consent decree with the EPA. That settlement was finalized by the federal government in the U.S. District Court in Cincinnati in early 2018.
According to the EPA, the city discharged millions of gallons of untreated sewage each year from its sewer system during and after rain events through its eight “combined sewer overflow” outfalls.
Untreated sewage can contain disease-causing bacteria, viruses and parasites, as well as pollutants that can harm aquatic life.
The city was to pay a penalty of $55,000 and spend $200,000 on a project in the canal to protect aquatic life from contaminated sediments.