Smelly Hamilton sewers lead to $3.5 million project for the city

Dan Arthur, an engineer working in Hamilton’s Department of Infrastructure, gave city council an update Wednesday on things being done to contain odors coming from sewers on Corwin Avenue that have been bothering residents.

Most of the Corwin Avenue work will happen between Freeman Avenue and Van Hook Avenue.

“The purpose of the project started out as a sanitary-sewer project only, but it has grown to include the other utilities as well,” he said.

Multiple lines tie in at the intersection of Corwin and Benninghofen Avenue, where there is a 10-foot drop within that manhole “that causes odor issues and is the main culprit with what’s going on with that,” Arthur said.

Director of Engineering Rich Engle previously said the waterfall-type drop stirred up chemicals at that location, causing odors.

“We’re going to take that out with the project,” Arthur said.

The estimated $3.5 million project also will separate sewage originating in homes from from industrial and commercial sewage, which is handled by the 36-inch line on the way to the city’s sewage treatment plant nearby.

Within the project area, there are cast-iron water pipes that are 100 to 125 years old, which will be replaced at the same time. Stormwater catch-basins also will be replaced.

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After the work is finished, Corwin will be resurfaced from River Road to Morris Road, using funds from the street repair levy that was approved last year. Because of the construction work, paving is not expected to happen until next spring.

The city expects to have engineering drawings finished by the end of this month so it can advertise for construction bids in April. Construction is to start July 1, the earliest it can happen because the city will get loan money from the Ohio Public Works Commission that will be received then. Construction is expected to take 9-12 months.

In efforts to battle the odors, “We’ve tried to attack it from multiple directions,” Arthur said. “We installed some manhole odor-eliminators at the actual manholes. They have these carbon filters on them to filter out some of the odor.

“We also installed sanitary vent-stack filters on the top of those vents. Those last for a couple of years, so those should get us well through the project before they need the filters changed out on that.”

Both types of filters have made a difference, he said. The city also has added biochemicals to the sewage “before it gets down there and starts the odor issues.” Arthur said. Also, hydrogen sulfide monitors were installed in two places.

When the weather warms up, the smells increase, and “we recognize that.” he said. The city plans to conduct sampling of sewage from industries, as was done earlier, in May or June, to figure out ways to combat odors until the project is finished.

No complaints have been received from citizens since September, he said.

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