Township Moves to Educate, Encourage Stormwater Basin Repairs

Beautiful vistas in Anderson are often accompanied by hillsides and streams leading to the Ohio or Little Miami rivers. Storm water detention basins hold water during heavy rain, then release it into creeks as the water levels drop.

Last year, Anderson Township staff members made “house calls” to more than 125 storm water detention basins, those sites that help collect stormwater to reduce erosion and deter flooding. Now that each aboveground site has been checked out and documented, the township is creating a plan to better ensure these are functioning correctly.

“It’s a tricky process,” said Assistant Administrator for Operations Steve Sievers.  “Nearly all of these detention basins lie on private property, and ongoing maintenance of basins is not regulated by any government entity.” Of course, it is advantageous these basins function correctly to enhance public safety, he noted.  “The common goal is to reduce the intensity of runoff that can turn streams into raging waterways,” he added.

“Our beautiful vistas throughout Anderson are often accompanied by hillsides and streams that drain to the Ohio or Little Miami rivers,” Sievers said. The basins serve to hold stormwater during heavy rainfall events, then slowly release water into creeks as water levels drop, reducing the possibility of flooding and erosion that comes from our hilly terrain, he said.

Management of stormwater is an important factor in enhancing public safety, Sievers added. “The use of these private infrastructure basins, which have been required by Hamilton County since the mid-1990s with new construction or with redevelopment, have been one of the most effective tools to use in managing stormwater.”

Onsite basin visits last year uncovered the fact that one of five structures may be compromised in some way. Many were overgrown with honeysuckle or other vegetation. 

Sievers said the township has developed materials to educate property and business owners, and homeowners associations as to suggested maintenance steps. The information also seeks to remind owners of the storm basins’ importance to the waterways in our community. “This outreach also is intended to help reduce their legal liability if the facility is not working correctly,” Sievers said. Additionally, as part of the process, Anderson also has reported problem basins to Hamilton County for a more detailed assessment. The county then notified owners of suggested corrective actions.

“In recent years, there has been a growing concern among our residents about the impacts from stormwater runoff of the streams in our community,” said Trustee Vice Chair Dee Stone. “Although these stormwater storage facilities aren’t regulated by the township, we believe that by working hand-in-hand with basin owners, we can make sure these facilities are being used in the best way to help address erosion, flooding and the quality of water in our streams.”

Click HERE to view the Township's Detention Basin Guide